Plans proposed for Airbnb-style hotel in Sacramento

US: Plans for a first-ever Airbnb-style hotel / short-term rental complex in Sacramento between the Memorial Auditorium and the Sacramento Convention Center have been proposed.

Developer David Sowels, who operates short-term rental firm and Bay Area development, Cogent Bay Inc., has put forward the plans for a six-storey rental complex in a project that would be the first of its kind in the Californian capital.

The hybrid building is projected to be constructed within the next 12 months if it is approved and would be called the 14i Hotel. The exception is that it would not be a hotel in the traditional sense; units would be rentable through Airbnb and accessible via a smart phone app and door key in a lock box.

Under the plans, 14i would also have no formal lobby or employees on site.

Sowels says restrictions on short-term rental projects with Airbnb have provided obstacles for companies wanting to run large-scale home-sharing businesses in Sacramento. He wants the building to be a 19-unit facility on vacant land between H and I streets in the city and is primarily targeting attendees at nearby Auditorium and Convention Center events to rent units there.

Speaking to The Sacramento Bee, Sowels said: “It seems to be a good location with the Convention Center nearby and that attracted us to it. We have Airbnbs in other locations, but found it difficult to do that in Sacramento in an apartment or a house.”

The developer said that it would be easier to operate a short-term rental property in a commercial zone, where 14i Hotel is planned, rather than in a residential district as this would encounter more opposition from local authorities imposing restrictions on rental projects.