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John Lewis reveals its first new-build rental homes sites to be Bromley, West Ealing and Reading

·2-min read
The John Lewis store on Oxford Street  (PA Wire)
The John Lewis store on Oxford Street (PA Wire)

John Lewis has announced Bromley, West Ealing and Reading as the first three locations for its plan to create 10,000 ‘built-to-rent’ homes in the UK.

The three proposed sites are above Waitrose shops in Bromley and West Ealing, plus a vacant John Lewis warehouse in Mill Lane, Reading.

The John Lewis Partnership, which owns both John Lewis and Waitrose, plans to build homes suitable for households of different sizes and available for short and long-term rents.

The developments will include shared roof gardens and fitness studios, with tenants given the option to have their homes furnished by John Lewis.

Construction is expected to begin in 2024, with renters moving in from 2027, subject to consultation with local residents this year.

John Lewis intends to submit planning applications for Bromley and West Ealing in 2023, with the Mill Lane site to follow.

Nina Bhatia, Executive Director for Strategy and Commercial Development at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Everything people love about our brand – quality, trust and service – we want to bring to the experience of renting a home with us.

“Our role as developer and operator, as well as an already established local business and employer, signals our ambition to bring long-term value to each of these communities.

“Helping to create homes has always been at the heart of what we do and we now have a unique opportunity to use our expertise and skills in new ways to deliver much-needed new housing.”

Renters have the option to have their flats furnished by John Lewis (John Lewis Partnership)
Renters have the option to have their flats furnished by John Lewis (John Lewis Partnership)

John Lewis unveiled its plans to build 10,000 rental homes in the next 10 years to address the national housing crisis and raise the standards of rental property in July 2021.

Half of these homes are set to be built on existing John Lewis sites, as the brand seeks to diversify its revenue streams following the pandemic.

The company currently owns 365 shops across the UK. By 2030, it aims for 40% of its profits to come from outside retail.

The John Lewis Partnership reported £27.2 million pre-tax loss for the year to 29 January 2022 – an improvement of £491.2 million on the previous year, where losses before tax amounted to £518.4 million.

Even so, the company closed eight John Lewis stores and a customer delivery hub in 2021, with head office and managerial roles also being cut.

In addition to its new rental properties, the company also plans to address global and economic uncertainty in the coming year by investing £246 million in its John Lewis and Waitrose shops, digital services and distribution, and growing its financial services provisions – which currently includes ISAs, loans and insurance – with a £53 million investment.

John Lewis is not the only supermarket owner to have turned its hand to building homes. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Lidl, for example, have all financed the construction of thousands of properties, with more underway.

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