WASHINGTON—WhyHotel, an alternative lodging service that operates pop-up hotels in newly built, luxury apartment buildings, is adding its newest location. In addition, Cathy Ross, the current CEO of Exclusive Resorts, is joining the company’s board of directors.
The 95-unit pop-up hotel will be located at Equity Residential’s newly completed luxury rental property here, 100 K St. NE, and is expected to run through the spring of 2019.
“We are really excited about it,” Bao Vuong, president/co-founder of WhyHotel told Hotel Business. “Not only about having Cathy Ross join our board, but also our expansion into DC. This is our hometown. This is where our corporate headquarters are. We are glad to have found a great partner in Equity Residential in doing this deal. I think this is one of continued announcements we will have throughout this year as we continue to grow and expand into new markets.”
“100K Apartments affords guests an elegant living environment in a hip neighborhood,” said Vuong. “We are thrilled to be offering our hotel-like amenities to Washington, DC’s vibrant NoMa neighborhood. The location offers great proximity to food venues, entertainment, art installations and new amenities delivering every day.”
As described in the June 21 issue of Hotel Business, the WhyHotel business model allows buildings to fill space during lease-up. “We believe welcoming WhyHotel to our 100K St. will offer people visiting the NoMa neighborhood the chance to experience our newly completed luxury community while providing a unique amenity that our residents and potential residents can also enjoy and at the same time create incremental value as we lease up this terrific property,” said Benjamin Stoll, VP of development, Equity Residential.
Vuong expressed excitement about Ross joining the board. “Working for the world leader in luxury vacations and travel club with Exclusive Resorts, I think she brings that deep hospitality background and knowledge. I think that is across the board—the operations side, the revenue side—what is also unique is that she has done quite a bit on the development side. That is where we are bridging the gap—multi-family development and the hospitality side—and bringing those two worlds together. As we continue to evolve our program and our offering, her insights and knowledge are going to be invaluable in the space.”
“I am excited to bring my background in real estate development, asset management, finance, manufacturing, and hospitality, to the WhyHotel brand,” said Ross. “They have a fascinating concept that is a win-win for both the real estate developer and end user.”