By: Ismael Rodriguez

Airbnb is partnering with a Miami-based developer to introduce the first Airbnb-branded apartment building in the U.S., a move by the short-term rental giant to bring a traditional and innovative approach that might encourage property managers and developers to allow Airbnb rentals.

The 324-unit project, dubbed Niido, which will sit just outside of Orlando in Kissimmee, is said to feature hotel-like amenities and urge tenants to sublease their spaces online, according to a Bloomberg report. The building is expected to open during the first quarter of next year, and it will also feature keyless entry and on-demand concierge services via an app.

The partnership between Newgard Development Group and Airbnb plans to expand this concept into other cities across the Southeastern U.S., where they are already planning to announce a Miami building early next year, according to what a spokesperson told the press.

Critics of Airbnb, who include landlords and hoteliers, have voiced their distaste openly, saying the platform increases housing costs and breaks zoning rules. Therefore, Airbnb’s partnership with Newgard Development Group legitimizes the site among these critics.

“We’re trying to make sure that home-sharing is not done in the shadows,” JaJa Jackson, a director of global partnerships at Airbnb, told Bloomberg.

Airbnb also signed a profit-sharing agreement last year to ensure property management companies a piece of the pie from the hosts’ overall revenue.

As for Newgard, led by president and CEO Harvey Hernandez, targeting users of the sharing economy isn’t new to them. Just last year, the developer completed the parking space-less Centro, a condo building in downtown Miami.