Jason Bauer, co-founder of Crumbs Bake Shop, and veteran broker Avi Voda today launched a New York City brokerage called Voda Bauer Real Estate.
The firm will specialize in residential and commercial properties and investment sales in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Agents will work out of a main office at the shared WeWork office space at Fulton Center, located at 222 Broadway in the Financial District. They will have access to 11 other WeWork offices.
More than 15 agents have been hired to date, and a total of 100 are expected to be on board by the end of the year, Bauer said. Charter agents – ones who have joined Voda Bauer within the first 60 days – will receive a 70-30 commission for the first two years, during which they collect a 70 percent share of the sale.
Bauer said he has no plans to open a separate office. “WeWork and Voda Bauer have shared philosophies,” Bauer said. “Both companies believe in collaboration and break the traditional mold the way companies do business.”
Right now, the firm has 12 exclusive residential listings, including a three-bedroom co-op unit at 65 East 76th Street asking $4.9 million. The residential component will specialize in sales of condos and co-ops in Upper East Side, Midtown South and other neighborhoods.
Voda’s contacts in real estate helped give the business an early boost. Voda stepped down as an executive vice president at Douglas Elliman last month. He hired Gina Ignatieva, an associate at Brookfield Financial, to serve as director of investment sales.
“We are interested in investing in new developments to ensure constant deal flow,” Bauer said.
Bauer began planning to build a brokerage after he and his wife Mia sold Crumbs Bake Shop in 2011 for $66 million — $39 million in stock and $27 million in cash — as part of a merger with the 57th Street General Acquisition Corp., as previously reported. Crumbs was founded in 2003 on the Upper West Side, and now has more than 75 outposts in the U.S.