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Airbnb's Deal For 130K SF Hotel Concept At Rockefeller Plaza Called Off

75 Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown Manhattan

An ambitious partnership that would have seen Airbnb creating hundreds of rooms at a Rockefeller Plaza office tower has been shelved.

The short-term rental website, which has upended traditional hospitality in recent years, was to build about 200 apartment spaces across 130K SF at 75 Rockefeller Plaza, owned and operated by RXR Realty. But with the coronavirus pandemic bringing hotel demand in the city to a standstill, the deal is off, Business Insider reports.

“Airbnb and RXR mutually agreed that, under the circumstances, it didn’t make sense to proceed with the project,” RXR CEO Scott Rechler told BI. “It's going to take some time for the industry's occupancy rates to rebound enough where it justifies new supply.”

Both parties left open the possibility that the partnership could re-emerge down the road.

Aside from the Airbnb plans, RXR last year agreed for WeWork to take 90K SF across four floors at 75 Rock in a cost- and profit-sharing agreement. Meanwhile, Flexible workspace provider Convene, of which RXR is a backer but which was forced to furlough more than 400 employees last month, was planning to run a member’s club in the 32nd-floor penthouse.

The move toward flexibility in a traditional office environment had raised the eyebrows of some lenders, Rechler said last year, and securing financing meant "a lot of handholding and meetings" with lenders to explain why so much of the 623K SF building was being filled with companies in the sharing economy.

“At 75 Rock, it required actually refinancing the building, because the existing lender didn't like the business plan," he later told Bisnow. "So we’ve had to bring in a new lender.”

RXR filed notice with the city in early 2019 that its $148.6M loan from TIAA would be transferred to Wells Fargo in conjunction with the profit-sharing deal with WeWork.