John Lewis partnership and ABRDN announce £500M joint venture to build residential rental homes

London, 2nd December 2022 - The John Lewis Partnership has announced a £500m multi-decade joint venture with global investment company abrdn to deliver around 1,000 new homes across three local communities. BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas Real Estate provided corporate coverage, real estate finance and real estate advisory services for the deal.

The deal marks a milestone in the Partnership’s plans to use its significant property assets to build much-needed residential homes and diversify their business. The joint venture will help them to reach 10 percent of their ambition to build 10,000 new homes over the next decade.

Within the UK’s growing ‘built-to-rent’ property market, this is a long-term joint venture that brings together abrdn’s experience as one of Europe’s largest residential investment managers together with the trust, service and quality synonymous with the John Lewis and Waitrose brands. 

The deal will see the Partnership develop and manage the proposed new sites and includes commitments to affordable housing and sustainability tied to our existing 2035 net-zero pledge. They want to create homes that will provide a stable income for the Partnership, and moving into housing aligns with their purpose to make a positive difference for their Partners, customers and communities.

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. The sites were chosen according to their central location and proximity to transport links.

Nina Bhatia, Executive Director for Strategy and Commercial Development at the John Lewis Partnership commented: “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 at abrdn added: “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 John Lewis Partnership will continue to work with the local authorities and communities to evolve our plans and expect to announce more details for West Ealing and Bromley in due course, before aiming to submit their first planning applications next year. A first public consultation for the site in Reading is expected in 2023.

John Lewis partnership and ABRDN announce £500M joint venture to build residential rental homes