John Lewis, Abrdn form £500m build-to-rent joint venture

John Lewis, Abrdn form £500m build-to-rent joint venture

The John Lewis Partnership has formed a £500m multi-decade joint venture with global investment company abrdn to deliver around 1,000 new homes across three local communities. 

The joint venture plans to build 10,000 new homes over the next decade. The new homes will be developed and managed by the John Lewis Partnership. 

The company said the deal includes commitments to affordable housing and sustainability tied to its existing 2035 net-zero pledge.

In Bromley and West Ealing in Greater London, subject to planning permission, Waitrose shops will be redeveloped to provide new homes and improved stores. In Reading, a vacant John Lewis warehouse will be redeveloped.

According to John Lewis, the ‘build-to-rent’ residential property market is estimated to double with 30k build-to-rent homes completed annually by 2026.

”The sector has a key role to play in addressing the shortfall in rental homes, which is set to increase further with the government’s help to buy scheme now coming to end. In London alone there is a shortfall of 75,000 rental properties,” the company said.

Nina Bhatia, Executive Director for Strategy and Commercial Development at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Our partnership with abrdn is a major milestone in our ambition to create much-needed quality residential housing in our communities. Our residents can expect homes furnished by John Lewis with first-rate service and facilities. The move underlines our commitment to build on the strength of our brands to diversify beyond retail into areas where trust really matters.”

Neil Slater, Head of Real Assets, abrdn, said: “The critical lack of quality rental accommodation in the UK needs to be addressed, so we are delighted to partner with the John Lewis Partnership to provide the required institutional investment. The ambitions and responsible ethos of our brands both strongly align, and our partnership should offer investors long-term returns and give residents confidence in a top-quality living experience.”

The company plans to announce more details for West Ealing and Bromley, before aiming to submit its first planning applications next year. A first public consultation for the site in Reading is expected in 2023.