Adopting the sort of joshy funky branding that has become so fashionable, the company is called be:here and describes itself as “a landlord even your mum would like”.
be:here’s first development is near Canary Wharf in London – “but we'll be rescuing renters all across the UK” the company promises.
Willmott Dixon says that “homes created by be:here are designed for professional sharers, couples and singles”, rather than for older people or young families.
“They feature facilities such as extra storage that many renters highlighted as important during detailed research into what they want when renting,” the company said.
The first development of 233 flats is owned by M&G Investments’ Secured Property Income Fund but managed under the be:here brand.
This East India Dock site is part of a wider regeneration of the Aberfeldy estate in Tower Hamlets that Willmott Dixon is carrying out with landowner Poplar HARCA to develop nearly 1,200 homes over 10 years.
be:here is in the process of acquiring further sites across London and in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds city centres that are each capable of accommodating single developments of 100-400 apartments.
Willmott Dixon Regen divisional chief executive Andrew Telfer said: “I’m delighted we’ve reached agreement with M&G on our first project in East London; it’s the start of a process where be:here will create homes for private rent on an ambitious scale, working with institutions that recognise the sector’s enormous potential to provide long-term revenue to their portfolios and our role in making that happen.”