Airbnb to open research hub in west Midtown

Online vacation rental provider Airbnb will open a research hub at the office portion of the Interlock, a mixed-use development in West Midtown. / Courtesy of S.J. Collins Enterprises

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Online vacation rental provider Airbnb will open a research hub at the office portion of the Interlock, a mixed-use development in West Midtown. / Courtesy of S.J. Collins Enterprises

Airbnb, the online platform for listing vacation rentals, will open its first Atlanta office in a new development in the west Midtown area.

Airbnb will open an office later this year at the Interlock, “subject to pandemic conditions,” the company said in a news release. The Interlock is a mixed-use development at the intersection of 14th Street and Howell Mill Road that includes office space, retail and residential units. The new Airbnb office is affiliated with Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Ventures, a group that helps student and faculty entrepreneurs launch start-up businesses.

Airbnb did not say how many workers it will hire for Atlanta or provide the amount of its financial investment. Airbnb first announced its Atlanta plans in February 2021.

San Francisco-based Airbnb is one of several West Coast technology companies that have opened or plan to open Atlanta offices. Airbnb, Google, Microsoft and Cisco have said Atlanta will boost their efforts to recruit people of color with technology skills.

Several Georgia cities and counties have cracked down on short-term rentals to combat loud parties and yard trash.

The city of Atlanta’s new rules, which take effect March 1, require owners to pay a yearly $150 fee and subject them to $500 fines for noise or other violations. Smyrna is considering new rules and enforcement guidelines that would require Airbnb owners to obtain a city license. They must also pay a yearly $95 fee.

Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Columbus, Macon and Savannah have all approved various forms of short-term rental regulations. The state last year required Airbnb owners to pay lodging taxes.

Airbnb has an Atlanta-area connection. One of its co-founders, Joe Gebbia Jr., grew up in metro Atlanta and is a graduate of Brookwood High School in Gwinnett County. Gebbia last year donated $700,000 to the school for its arts program and new athletic facilities.

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