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Bjarke Ingels' New Development Firm Lets Consumers Digitally Design, Finance Homes

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, founder of Bjarke Ingels Group.

A new housing development firm formed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and a pair of Google and WeWork veterans pledges it will allow buyers or renters to digitally choose their dwelling design and affordable financing in a process akin to buying an electric car. 

Nabr is building its first project in San Jose, promising consumers they can put down as little as 1% for homes starting in the high $700Ks in the notoriously expensive market. The firm is helmed by architectural firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group in partnership with former Google software developer Nick Chim and WeWork development boss Roni Bahar. 

“Our long-term vision is to deliver projects in less than half the time and at price points affordable to middle-income households nationally,” Chim, Nabr's co-founder and chief technology officer, said in a statement. 

Bahar, a former lieutenant at WeWork under former CEO Adam Neumann, is Nabr’s CEO. Ingels, the namesake of the architectural firm, is Nabr’s co-founder and CCO.

The firm’s LEAP program allows residents to lock in a purchase price of a home for an option period of up to five years, and monthly payments can apply as credit toward a home purchase. The 125-unit SoFA One project in downtown San Jose, expected to deliver in 2023, will be built with timber and feature an all-electric, carbon-neutral design that consumers can customize online, the firm said.  

Nabr recently closed on a $14M seed funding round led by Zigg Capital and including developers Robert Wennett and DivcoWest. The developer said it won’t own its branded real estate or operate its own factories, instead deploying its supply chain partnerships to deliver the homes to consumers.