Duane Street Hotel will be operated by Sonder

The Commercial Observer reports that the Duane Street Hotel has been sold for $18 million to Premier Equities; Premier then signed a lease with Sonder, the short-term rental company, to take over the 43-room hotel. But Sonder told CO that they will continue to run it as a hotel.

Do a little math as the Commercial Observer did and that’s $419,000 per room. They plan to open later this year.

Sonder rep wrote to clarify that Sonder is “a hospitality company, not a short-term rental company” but it’s website indicates that it does provide short-term rentals. “We are not membership based and, while we do offer short-term options for certain locations, we do not operate any short term rentals in NYC. Furthermore, every Sonder property in NYC has a hotel certification of occupancy.”

Sonder has created some conflict in the neighborhood, to say the least. In November 2019, residents at 20 Broad were getting weary — and then some — of their transient neighbors who used Sonder apartments in the building. Then there was an armed robbery at a Sonder unit that was being used for a party.

“This situation is outrageous,” wrote M. at the time. “There are about 500 units [in the whole building] and we were told Sonder was operating only three floors. It now seems there are Sonder units on the majority of the floors with access to all building amenities.”

Sonder now has units in 95 Wall, 116 John, 180 Water and a building at Hanover Square, as well as others in buildings across the city.

I am not sure how Sonder gets away with the rentals in residential buildings since I am pretty sure it is illegal to offer short-term rentals of your apartment unless you are there to host. However, this is not true of hotels, which are in fact legal.