Legal & General has started work on its North London Build to Rent (BTR) scheme, the firm recently announced.
The development, which will bring around 440 new homes to Walthamstow, is set to be one of the largest purpose-build rental developments in the UK when it is complete.
Galliford Try Partnerships has been appointed by Legal & General as contractor on site in a contract worth £120 million.
The scheme will be built at Blackhorse Mills, which overlooks the Walthamstow Wetlands and is situated 200m from Blackhorse Road tube station. Once completed, it will provide Waltham Forest with approximately 440 new studio, one, two and three bedroom homes. The development is expected to be open to residents between late 2019 and early 2020.
Health and wellbeing is set to be a key feature of the new development, with a wellness centre located on site. In addition, the scheme will include private dining rooms, flexible working space, roof terracing and a resident club overlooking the 211 hectares of protected wetlands, which is internationally recognised as an important habitat for wildlife.
As well as residential property, the scheme will also include 20,000 square foot of commercial accommodation to provide much-needed space for creative and start-up businesses in the nearby area.
Once built, the new development will provide a number of perks to residents, including significantly reduced energy costs, no lettings fees, and free services such as a car club membership and WiFi. It will also include green initiatives such as solar panels on the roof, to provide the building with communal lighting and power.
In order to create “greater occupational security”, residents will be offered longer and more flexible tenancies, ranging from six months to five years. What’s more, tenants will be allowed to decorate their own homes and keep pets – options which are often out of the reach of renters and typically reserved predominantly for homeowners.
“Blackhorse Lane is a hugely vibrant and rapidly growing area of London,” Dan Batterton, BTR fund manager at LGIM Real Assets, said. “It needs new quality housing and we are pleased to have appointed Galliford Try Partnerships to help us achieve our vision of creating a vibrant and healthy community.”
He added: “Waltham Forest Council has been a very supportive forward thinking partner and it is only through this joined up, progressive approach that we are able to make such a large investment into the Blackhorse Lane community, supporting residents and businesses.”
Having raised capital from major pension funds for an open-ended BTR fund, in addition to a £600 million JV investment by Legal & General Capital and PGGM, Legal & General’s total investment capability for the BTR sector currently stands at circa £1 billion.
Alongside Walthamstow, Legal & General has existing BTR schemes in Bristol, Bath, Salford and Leeds.