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An innovative solution to empty commercial real estate – the Pop-up Hotel

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Commercial real estate in major metropolitan areas have taken a heavy hit with the slow economic recovery In Midtown New York City alone, this translates to about 17 million square feet of empty space, with Class A vacancies hovering around 22 percent over the past 5 years.

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This year’s Grand Prize winner of the Radical Innovation in Hospitality Award from Pink Cloud dk offers a fascinatingly innovative solution. The Pop-up Hotel would temporarily transform vacant prime commercial real estate into comfy hospitality spaces. It’s a unique way for the real estate to gain visibility and much needed revenue.

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Pink Cloud will partner with various owner/leasing agencies around Midtown to identify buildings needing revitalization. All the necessary
parts to outfit a hotel for a week are trucked onto site and set up. Pop-up Hotel’s website and app are updated to reflect the newest “hotel” location and marketing and reservations are done virally. Each hotel is dismantled and moved every four weeks, with the kit of parts moving to the next locale. Revenues are shared between hotel operators and building owners.


The hotels feature various amenties – including a cafe / lounge, exercise rooms a spa and libraries – and two types of room configurations. All these are distributed among various empty floors of the building, even including entertainment and a bar for “hotel guests”. The opening of each Pop Up Hotel would be marked by parties and other attention-grabbing events. As intriguing as this idea is, it’s still in concept mode only for now while a variety of logistical issues are being worked through. Still, it’s a very cool idea for a unique type of lodging.

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