Flexible-Use Multifamily Developer Placemakr Raises $65M

The company plans to deploy capital on new acquisitions.

Placemakr’s Marymount Ballston property in Arlington, Va. Image courtesy of Placemakr.

Placemakr, a flexible-use multifamily and hospitality operator, has raised $65 million in new funding.

The recent capital raise pushes the company’s total to $350 million of capital raised as it continues to add properties to its portfolio and establish partnerships with developers throughout the U.S.

The Washington, D.C.,-based firm’s property operations model has been funded by major real estate and venture capital investors including Highland Capital Partners, Harbert Growth Partners, Bernstein Management Corp., Camber Creek and Gaw Capital USA.

Founded as WhyHotel in 2017, the company rebranded as Placemakr last March, when it announced $90 million in equity investment aimed at growing the tech-enabled hospitality and multifamily operator and making more property acquisitions. This latest funding allows Placemakr to double down on property acquisitions and developer partnerships backing apartment-style hotels which offer short-term rentals and flexible-living accommodations.

Since its founding, Placemakr has managed more than $1 billion of real estate assets and operated more than 1 million room nights. Its bookings since the beginning of the COVID pandemic have brought in over $100 million. In addition to expanding its geographic footprint, the company will expand partnerships to solidify the flex-use property as an asset class in commercial real estate.

This week, Placemakr added Placemakr Wedgewood-Houston in Nashville to its platform. The property was previously known as the Bento Living Chestnut Hill building, which also featured a flexible turnkey-style concept. This latest Nashville location at 321 Hart St. offers 89 furnished apartments that can be rented nightly, as short-term rentals or long-term housing. The property, which offers housekeeping services, has studios, one-, two- and five-bedroom units. Onsite amenities include a rooftop terrace, fitness center, bodega, coffee bar, restaurant and meeting spaces.

Placemakr now has three locations in Nashville. The company’s portfolio includes multiple locations in the D.C. metro as well as New York City and San Jose, Calif. In September, the company launched Placemakr Marymount Ballston in a partnership with Marymount University in Arlington, Va. The property has 265 units used for student housing and apartment-style hotel units.

Fueling Growth

The latest funding round comes as Placemakr appointed Timothy Franzen, former president of Graduate Hotels, as its chief development officer. Franzen will be leading the company’s efforts to grow inventory under management through partnerships with major real estate owners and developers across the U.S. Franzen, in a prepared statement, identified the company’s model as part of a fundamental shift toward blending multifamily units and hotels.

Jason Fudin, CEO & co-founder of Placemakr, noted in prepared remarks that the trend of flexible-use housing continues to grow as cities adjust to new travel and living patterns created by remote work. Fudin also observed that there has been an increase office-to-residential conversions, as well as multifamily buildings transitioning to offer a mix of residential and hospitality uses.

Those trends are reshaping downtown cities’ structures and functions, said Fudin. For instance, Placemakr, Bernstein Management Corp. and Urban Atlantic have acquired an office building on K Street in Washington, D.C., and are converting it into a hotel-apartment hybrid property.

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