Camden Downtown The new pop-up will feature some 100 units at Camden Downtown located at 1515 Austin St.

HOUSTON—Pop-up retail has been fairly commonplace for a while now but a hospitality version has popped up in the form of WhyHotel. This alternative lodging service operates pop-up hotels in newly built luxury apartment buildings, taking advantage of the lease-up period when units often sit vacant.

“In the United States, at any point in time, there are hundreds of thousands of vacant, new-built apartments,” Jason Fudin, CEO and co-founder of WhyHotel, tells “This is due to the units being delivered to market all at once, upon completion of the complex, since residents can’t move into a building that’s still under construction. It then takes about a year for a residential building to fill up. The WhyHotel model takes advantage of this underlying inefficiency, putting vacant apartments to work during the lease-up period.”

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.

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