Earlier this year, we included the AKA United Nations hotel-condo hybrid on our list of the new developments coming to the market in spring; and now, the property will begin taking its first hotel guests on September 10, according to Bloomberg. Each of the 95 one-bedroom suites (modestly sized at about 550 to 650 square feet) will be available as an extended-stay room, equipped with a balcony, Bulgari bath amenities, and free Wi-Fi, until interested buyers plunk down the $1.2 to $1.5 million asking price.
This particular AKA property (one of five of the brand's residences that are either open or in development in the city) also happens to be Manhattan's first building that was partially financed by crowdfunding; according to Bloomberg, of the $95 million cost to renovate the hotel, about $12 million came from backers. The campaign was spearheaded by Prodigy Network, which has led other real estate crowdfunding campaigns around the world, but unlike your average Kickstarter campaign, this isn't the type of thing your average Joe is likely to participate in:
The crowdfunding campaign drew 116 backers, pledging at least $20,000 each. They can expect a return on their investment of 19 percent to 23 percent, mostly from sales of the units and some from hotel fees, according to Prodigy. About 90 percent of the crowdsourced money came from outside the U.S., said Brian Newman, the company's business-development chief.Still, the success of AKA opens the door for more campaigns of this sort—indeed, this was Prodigy's most successful campaign in NYC to date, and the company now has three more crowdfunded real estate projects in the pipeline in the city.
· Manhattan Gets First Crowdfunded Condos [Bloomberg]
· AKA United Nations [Official]
· The 41 New Developments Hitting The Market This Spring [Curbed]
· All AKA United Nations Coverage [Curbed]