Watkin Jones, the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent homes, is pleased to announce exchange of contracts for the sale of a 322 apartment BtR scheme in Lewisham, South East London. The transaction is on a forward funding basis to one of Europe’s largest asset managers Legal and General Investment Management (‘LGIM’) on behalf of its Legal & General Retirement (‘LGR’) business, for circa £130 million. This is LGIM Real Assets second transaction with Watkin Jones this year, following the forward funding of the 216 Build to Rent (‘BTR’) home development at Hove Gardens in August 2021, a total investment level in excess of £200 million.
The scheme, on Conington Road, will add a new entrance to Lewisham Station, giving residents access to DLR and rail services on their doorstep and supporting sustainable travel. The scheme is designed to meet future-proofed levels of environmental performance, meeting Home Quality Mark Level 3. The ground floor affordable commercial space, which is targeted at local, independent businesses, will achieve BREEAM Excellent.
Split across two blocks either side of the Ravensbourne river, the development includes a 35-story tower that will be a striking addition to the skyline and is topped by a sky-deck with views over the capital and towards the Surrey Hills. Residents will also be able to enjoy a gym, co-working space and a resident’s lounge, which will add to the community feel of the development. Local businesses in Lewisham, as well as the independent shops of Blackheath and Greenwich, are expected to benefit from increased footfall from the development.
Watkin Jones has already begun construction, with completion expected in phases between 2023 and 2024. A further affordable housing block is being sold as part of a separate transaction.
Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer of Watkin Jones, said: “This collaboration is an excellent barometer for BTR in the UK. LGIM are a fantastic partner who share our passion for creating amazing new homes for people to rent. We’ve got a history of working together to deliver some great PBSA schemes and we’re delighted to now be extending that relationship to the exciting world of BTR. This development will be a striking new addition to the South London skyline and is designed to add long-term value for the community in Lewisham.
“We are already seeing the London rental market rebound after the pandemic and creating new homes to meet demand is vitally important. Attracting people back to sustainable city living should remain a priority and this scheme is a superb example of how to do that.”
Mike Powell, Senior Transactions Manager for LGIM, said: “We are delighted this project is being delivered as part of our continuing partnership with Watkin Jones. This new scheme will be a significant contributor to tackling the local housing shortage, providing purpose-built rental homes with long leases for all ages, demographics and social groups as part of our continued efforts to improve rental standards across the UK. The building is uncompromising in terms of design, connectivity and on completion will offer residents a best in class product and level of service.
“LGIM has also welcomed its first residents to its flagship Mustard Wharf schemes in Leeds, Box Makers Yard in Bristol and completed the final phase of The Slate Yard in Salford, plus committed over £150 million in investments to Birmingham and Leeds respectively. With a rapidly growing portfolio of over £2 billion and a pipeline to deliver a further 7,500 homes by 2025, LGIM Real Assets remains a leader within the sector.”
Legal & General was represented by Avison Young.