RVA apartment buildings will become mini Airbnb hotels

RVA apartment buildings will become mini Airbnb hotels
Source: NBC12

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There are two new, mini Airbnb hotels coming to Richmond. The project, though, underscores a problem the city has needed to fix for a while.

Airbnb is blowing up in Richmond and all over the country. You can book a short-term stay in a person's home or guest house through the app or website.

Recently, owners are turning entire homes and buildings into their own private Airbnb hotels.

"This is becoming more of a demand, especially around the college campus, and we're becoming more of an event venue and foodie town," said City Councilwoman Kim Gray.

Gray represents the district where one of these places is going: 806 Cathedral Place. Not far away is the other: 8 and 10 East Main Street.

This unique take on Airbnb and entrepreneurship underscores a problem the city has had for awhile though: there aren't any regulations on Airbnb's in the city.

There are nearly one thousand of them existing in Richmond, and people don't even have to report to the city when they start one. The city isn't collecting any tax revenue on these businesses.

"Demand is growing, and the supply is limited, and we are trying to work out a way to try to capture that revenue for the locality," said Gray.

Richmond collects a hotel tax, but all of that money goes to pay off the debt owed on the convention center. The administration is working on ways to tax Airbnbs so that money - or at least some of it - goes into the general fund to help pay for other things.

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