May 18, 2022
Giant New York City-based developer Related is launching a new lodging brand that targets top business executives who split time between their primary residence and a place near their office, reports The Wall Street Journal.
While a number of developers, lodging companies, and startup firms have focused on offerings for mobile freelance staffers or employees working remotely, Related aims to lure members of top management and others who can pay a premium for amenity-rich buildings where they can mingle with peers.
The first one will be a 270-unit residential tower in the Hudson Yards neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side, where Related has developed a sprawling complex.
Opening in the fall, it features furnished units, concierges and three floors of hotel-like amenities. Rents start at about $5,200 a month for a furnished studio and about $7,200 a month for a one-bedroom unit. Lease terms will start at one year, though they may be shorter in the future.
The brand, named The Set, will also feature wine tastings, speakers and other programs to give residents a sense of community. “People want to know their neighbors,” said Jeff Blau, Related’s chief executive.
More executives who used to work out of offices five days a week now go in only two or three days and work the rest of their time from their homes in the suburbs or even in other cities. These trends have been building in recent years, but were “supercharged” by the pandemic, Blau said.
Other residential and lodging companies have also stepped up efforts recently to appeal to the remote-work crowd. With more people working remotely and extending vacations, Airbnb introduced last week a new feature allowing guests booking trips for one week or more to divide trips between two different homes. The short-term rental firm said that stays of 28 days or more made up 21% of bookings in the first quarter, above prepandemic levels.
Mint House, a startup that provides upscale hotel experiences in apartment buildings in 15 cities this year, began offering a new program with a higher level of service named Second Home targeting hybrid workers seeking a pied-à-terre near their offices.
“Typically they’re the more senior person in a corporation who has decided: maybe I’ll live in Miami now or maybe I’ll live in Boston now and go to headquarters with whatever frequency,” said Shane Berry, Mint House’s chief customer officer.
Sonder, which manages short-term-rental apartments and hotels, is going after some of the same customers. Kasa, a San Francisco-based startup that is also appealing to remote workers, offers group discounts for companies that book ten rooms or more.
Related’s new project will open in a 45-story Hudson Yards building that it will share with Related’s new senior housing brand named Coterie. Blau said numerous executives who work at offices in Hudson Yards live in the suburbs, work in the office three days a week, and stay at upscale hotels.
Related is planning to expand the brand to other cities—including Miami; Los Angeles; Chicago; and Austin, Texas.
“Here they can rent this unit, walk in, full service, full amenities, fully furnished, sheets, towels, everything; but it’s theirs,” he said. “They can be there three days a week and it’s a lot less expensive than a hotel.”
Research contact: @WSJ