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Sonder Opens Vacation Rentals Across From SoFi Stadium As Part Of National Expansion

A Feb. 2021 street view of the property.

Short-term rental and hospitality company Sonder is in expansion mode, and Los Angeles is part of those growth plans. 

The company announced Thursday that it had opened 25 new buildings across more than a dozen U.S. cities in the last half of 2021, including one in LA. The 180-unit building across from the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood is the fourth LA location listed for guest bookings on the San Francisco-based company’s site. 

Other Sonder locations in LA include a Found hotel on Santa Monica Boulevard owned by Hawkins Way Capital and two hotels in Beverly Hills. The newest location, called the Lüm Hotel, opened in December 2021, according to owner and developer Izek Shomof.

Shomof bought the hotel at 3900 West Century Blvd. in 2017 with plans for a comprehensive overhaul of the property. He did just that, updating the entire property and all rooms, and adding a courtyard pool, patios, a gym and a restaurant that has yet to open but will soon, according to Shomof.

Construction wrapped in October 2021, but before the hotel opened, Sonder reached out expressing interest in leasing the hotel for their hospitality platform. The hospitality company signed a fixed lease for the property and the hotel soft-opened as a Sonder before the end of 2021, Shomof said. 

“It was very easy to deal with them,” Shomof said.” 

Sonder touts itself as a more cost-effective and unique alternative to hotels, but more predictable than independently operated short-term rentals. Guests can book rooms online and check in through an app, which also provides access to concierge-type perks like room service.

Shomof originally planned to open and operate the 180-room hotel independently through his company The Shomof Group, but said that Sonder’s proposition and their hospitality experience prompted a pivot. 

So far, the hotel seems to be off to a good start. 

“They’re doing more [business] than they anticipated,” Shomof said. 

Los Angeles’ home-sharing ordinance, which regulates short-term rentals in the city, went into effect in 2019. A year later, there were still at least 5,000 listings on Airbnb alone that weren’t in compliance with the rules. 

Sonder’s portfolio is made up of equal parts hotels and apartment buildings. Sonder had 8,000 units available for bookings and another 10,000 units locked down but not yet bookable as of September 2021, according to an investor presentation

Sonder has an IPO in the works by way of a merger with a SPAC called Gores Metropoulos II. The fate of the merger is expected to be decided this week. Initially valued at $2.2B, Sonder’s valuation was lowered to $1.9B in November.