What happened to you, Brian Chesky? Before, you were cool.
But we have to undertake a serious reassessment since we learned that Airbnb decided to adopt the philosophy of every John Hughes parent who ever lived when they announced they were introducing technology that was supposed to identify and stop parties before they start.
“We have taken steps to codify our party ban,” said Naba BanerjeeDirector of Trusted Products and Operations for Airbnb.
There was a party ban?
“We know that strong policies must be complemented by strong enforcement,” Banerjee continued. “This technology is the latest in a number of anti-party measures in recent years to enforce our policy and try, to the best of our abilities, to stop both unauthorized parties and chronic party houses. “
Apparently Airbnb has received complaints about “high risk” users. The technology they introduced has been in development in Australia since last October and the company claims it has led to a 35% drop in Airbnb parties.
Guests with bad party reputations are identified and prohibited from renting entire homes when the host is not present.
Ah. We thought proptech was supposed to be used for things like automating back-office processes, investment management, or payroll. Like what Agora just raised $20 million for. Or even for new and not fully tested things like Metaverse trading, which is one of the things Agya Ventures raised $32 million for. Don’t stop the parties.
Hush. Don’t tell Robert Frey about it.
Frey – the Las Vegas-based founder of Caliente Development who co-founded Perception Las Vegas, the Pussycat Dolls Lounge and Pure Nightclub, and was co-owner of dispensary owner Naturex – announced a new cannabis museum called The House of Cannabis at 427 Broadway by Chetrit Group, which will open in the fall.
The museum, abbreviated THCNYC (get it?), will take up five floors in the SoHo building and, in addition to the history of pot, will feature LED light and marijuana-inspired artwork.
The only thing missing from the museum is real grass.
Frey Told The real deal that obtaining a license would be too expensive and that he wanted to “help all dispensaries”.
What happened to you, Robert Frey? Before, you were cool.
Alright, fuck off!
Good. We admit that the older we get, the less patience we have with loud music late at night and walls of cannabis smoke from neighbors.
Sometimes we just want someone to clean up the surrounding mess. Like the abandoned hangars of long-closed restaurants all over town. When is someone going to take care of it?
In fact, Eric Adams has announced a plan to do just that.
“Outdoor dining has transformed New York City and saved 100,000 jobs during the pandemic, but we can’t let abandoned dining sheds litter our streets,” the mayor said in a statement. “These deserted dining sheds have become eyesores for neighbors and havens for rats, and we are going to tear them down.”
The city will remove 24 abandoned sheds closed restaurants.
The term “closed restaurants” might tell some readers that retail has been going downhill for years, but in fact it doesn’t. There have been some interesting retail deals this week, especially regarding restaurants.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten, for his part, announced the opening of a 14,000 square foot restaurant on two floors at L&L’s new 425 Park Avenue next year. And this comes on the heels of her collection of restaurants and shops at Howard Hughes’ Tin Building at the South Street Seaport, which opened earlier this month.
In the Design District of Miami, Jair Coser, the founder of Fogo de Chão — disbursed some $6.2 million for a two-story, 8,000 square foot retail building, which we can only assume will have an attached restaurant. (Although it’s not yet clear what Coser is planning.)
In the Washington, DC area three new restaurants — Chatime Café, specializing in bubble tea; Thai Table, from former chef Thip Khao; and Firebirds Wood Fired Grill – all took place at Westview Promenade in Frederick, Md.
And beyond restaurants, high and low retail saw some interesting activity this week.
In Beverly Hills, Rolls Royce took 18,000 square feet for a new flagship showroom at 9460 Wilshire Boulevard. (Fancy!)
On Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Unfashional and Callista Couture will open stores at 817 Lincoln Road and 612 Lincoln Road, respectively, according to Terranova Corp.
And cheaper retail has been a big beneficiary of inflation. According to a recent Placer.ai report, places like Dollar General saw a 10% increase in foot traffic from March to May, and supermarkets like Walmart, Target, BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club saw increases of 7% over the same period. Dollar stores have also seen rapid expansion, with Dollar General planning to open a total of 1,110 stores by the end of the fiscal year.
And movie theaters are finally coming back too. Cinema attendance increased by 72% from March to July.
The one retail/hospitality story that surprised us is the fact that Related is eager to get rid of their Equinox Hotel in the Hudson shipyards. After all, it’s not like Hudson Yards isn’t generating business. Vista Equity Partners has just taken 95,000 square feet at 50 Hudson Yards. And many will say that hospitality is making a comeback. Just this week Jeffrey Soffer spent $102 million buying a condo development on Jupiter Island with a likely plan to tear it down and rebuild a brand new hotel. (Or another fancier condo.) But, if you want to try your hand at luxury Manhattan hospitality, the Equinox is trying to fetch $200 million.
We’d be forgiven for feeling like we’ve entered a time warp, with office contracts signed at Hudson Yards, retail businesses hot and everyone still trusting Adam Neumann with his money.
Because a doozy dropped this week when it was announced that the former CEO of WeWork had spoken to venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz about invest $350 million in his new residential real estate company Flow, which is valued at… over $1 billion? (At least it’s not valued at $47 billion. That’s progress.)
Flow looks a bit like the embodiment of an idea Neumann once tried, WeLive – basically adult dorms. But, OK, we’ll admit that the multifamily is a hot commodity, so maybe the 4,000 units it’s already racked up is indeed a healthier investment.
Excited about Brooklyn!
One landlord remains optimistic about the Brooklyn office market – Two Trees.
Jed Walentas’ company probably has more reason than others to believe in the borough. Walentas’ parents, David and Jane, came to the borough when it was cheap and neglected, and built an extremely successful empire in Dumbo. Two Trees is planning the same in Williamsburg with their Domino project.
CO obtained a peek inside the refinery, the 460,000 square feet of office space that Two Trees has been working hard on for the past few years. This should make for a good Sunday read. Or, in fact, today is supposed to be a beautiful day. If you walk along the Brooklyn waterfront, you can see it for yourself.
See you next week!