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325 Summer Street transitions into Airbnb

Back in 2016, 325 Summer Street was listed for sale for $949,900. Since the time, the building’s new owner has transitioned the fabulous accommodations into Airbnb status. This is now one of the most exclusive AirB&B listings in the city, if not the premier stay. A sojourn at this beauty is touted as a “Once in a lifetime opportunity to stay in a 6000 square foot mansion.”

Along with the spacious accommodations, guests can enjoy:

  • 11 foot ceilings throughout the 1st and 2nd floors
  • A massive eat-in chef’s kitchen with a Sub-Zero refrigerator
  • 4K smart televisions with cable 
  • A pool table and piano in the grand living room
  • A large terrace and an in-ground pool with hot tub

The house was built in 1901 by Edward Ellsworth, an entrepreneur who made a fortune in the cereal industry. Over the last century, the home had multiple uses: a private residence, a school (the Buffalo Community Music School), an office (Buffalo Hearing & Speech) and then a private residence again.” – Airbnb

The Airbnb listing goes on to say that this is the type of residence that just doesn’t get built anymore. Aint that the truth. This is a spectacular addition to the Airbnb repertoire in Buffalo. For anyone interested in reserving 325 Summer for a stay, visit the Airbnb website.

Weekend Price $899 / night | Weekly Discount: 12% | Monthly Discount: 17%

Photos: Airbnb

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • Superhaunt Chaps

    Very nice, how much?

  • grovercleveland

    I’m not an expert on this, but if it is being exclusively used as a rental, isn’t it just a hotel operating without a license or paying proper taxes?

    • eagercolin

      It’s ok, because laws don’t apply to things people do on the internet.

      • BufChester

        It’s ok, because laws don’t apply to things rich people do.

    • Johnny Pizza

      I’m not an expert either, but if a hotel is paying property taxes and local and state sales tax is charged as well, what is the bed tax supposed to represent? Other than a straight up money grab that takes money out of tourism?

      • eagercolin

        That’s exactly what it is. But, so what? Cities tax hotel stays.

        • Johnny Pizza

          And cities charge for taxi cab licenses, Uber is turning that upside down. It seems Airbnb is doing the same for bed taxes.

          And that’s a good thing for the consumer, so I have no problem with it.

          • grovercleveland

            Can you send me a list of which laws are acceptable to break?

            AirBnB is legal, however it does not appear that they are following the regulations.

          • grovercleveland

            NYS passed legislation regarding ride sharing. They did for AirBnB as well.

            It does not appear that this location is following the rules.

          • benfranklin

            The specific NYS legislation applies to cities with more than 1 million people.

          • SamFries

            On what are you basing your legal opinion? It doesn’t seem this is an apartment building so. . .

            https://www.thehostingjourney.com/simple-guide-current-ny-laws-airbnb/

          • benfranklin

            About a year ago, NY State threatened legislation that would make it difficult to rent space in NYC. Airbnb offered to pay the hotel taxes directly, across the entire state. NY went ahead with the legislation, and Airbnb dropped the offer.

            The legislation about limiting rentals applies to cities with more than 1 million people.

            About the same time in Buffalo, the Common Council held some meetings on the topic. At the time Uber was not allowed here. It was my take away that the Council was sick of being told (incorrectly) they were keeping Uber out…and wanted to in no way hinder Airbnb.

          • eagercolin

            Unless “the consumer” (or some giant Silicon Valley corporation, which is who actually benefits) is going to pave our roads and pick up our trash, then I’ll continue to support hotel taxes and oppose efforts to skirt them.

          • Johnny Pizza

            Unless the property owner decides not to pay their property taxes (not at all associated with Airbnb) then “the consumer” is already indirectly paying for the roads and trash. No different than if I rent an apartment and pay my landlord. Yes, I’m not personally cutting a check to the city of Buffalo, but my landlord is with the money I give him for rent. This is no different.

            Also take into account that state and local sales tax is charged on an Airbnb rental. Is sales tax charged on your mortgage? Or on your property taxes? Or on sewer fees? Nope. So “the consumer” is already paying a premium on their dollars to stay a night here.

          • benfranklin

            I think it helps small businesses like the Town Ballroom, and other smaller venues. If somebody can stay in the city for $50+, and buy tickets, go to a couple bars, think the overall impact is vastly positive.

      • Rachel

        You’re still required to collect and submit the proper taxes when you rent your property through AirBnb, VRBO/Homeaway, etc. Whether or not that’s enforced is another question! 🙂

      • bettybarcode
  • Flyguy2pt0

    Always thought these oldies on St Louis Place could be a good similar conversion. A nice quiet nook street near downtown. Judging by the foundation and architecture these would appear to go back in time a good deal. Some great bones here. Appears to be room for parking area and/ or outdoor respite down at the end of the block and corner could be a candidate for beautification. Bury the lines,

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/09b620d43ac48998ee82bcadbc5018a37cc6f5683a6d8c6481cc6edf5914d796.jpg

  • breckenridge

    From the owner’s standpoint, bad way to try to pay off a big property quickly, if you can have it rented out often enough.

    I wonder how the neighbors feel about this though.

    • Nicky

      how can you have a property like this paid off quicker than $899/ 2 day rent? Sell it?

    • benfranklin

      It will be difficult to rent often. From a traveller’s standpoint, how often do you have that many people travelling as a group? I see they’re booked, or at least not available, for just a few days in December and January.

    • Randy503

      IT’s a risky model, IMO. Once you factor in the mortgage for almost $1M, the rehabbing costs, insurance, and the monthly utilities and maintenance, you have a pretty hefty monthly tab. I’m sure the owner has crunched the numbers, but I would guess that he is paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 per month.

      That means he has to rent it more at least half of the month just to break even. Perhaps there is a market for people paying that much for a house with no amenities like room service, an onsite restaurant and bar, concierge, valet, etc. Then there are seasonal issues — perhaps if there is a game in town, he can charge that price and a bunch of out of towners will be happy to occupy it for a day or two. But what happens in the off season? There are a lot of hotels opening up, and oddly enough, I don’t see a lot of Airbnbs in Buffalo.

      IF there is a market for this high end rental, he owns it. But if not, then we will see the business model change within six months or so.

  • Ivan Putski Jr

    I didn’t check but wonder if they allow pets? I always run into issue with the “nice” places on AIRBNB

    • Matthew Moje

      says no pets

  • will

    Barry the WOP Genius

    • robert biniszkiewicz

      ?? “Barry the WOP Genius”?

      not following. Who is Barry? and please tell me WOP doesn’t refer to Italian.

  • SpeaksTheTruth

    Considered this property for a family reunion of 16 people who would be coming in from all over the country. Then saw that the owner requests a $5000 security deposit, which is 10-15 times more than anywhere else…

    • benfranklin

      What time frame are you looking? Looks like 2500 on the site, which is still high.

      • SpeaksTheTruth

        When searching about a month ago, the security deposit was $5000 for a 4-day rental in June 2018. A bit much. We instead booked a place that better accommodated our group of 16 adults– a luxury 6000sq ft house on the water, which has a $600 security deposit.

        The owner of this house would do better, and not lose potential rentals, if they lowered their security deposit dramatically and asked their renter to instead take out a temporary binder with the renter’s homeowner’s policy for a million dollar “vacation rental” liability coverage in the event of a mishap. Most homeowner’s policies will do so for free or a nominal fee.