A new £100m joint venture between Aviva Capital Partners and B-Corp property developer, Stories will unlock and deliver purposeful development projects that will make a positive difference to the quality of life in communities across the UK. The joint venture will look across all asset classes, with the first a Build to Rent project.
The joint venture is looking to partner with landowners to optimise their existing property assets and to deliver projects that have a clear social purpose. Aviva and Stories will engage across the full spectrum of the property development process – from design, planning and financing, through to completion and operation. The joint venture is primarily intended to help unlock complex projects through partnerships with long term and institutional landowners, acquiring land if needed.
“A lack of equity and development expertise is holding back the ability of many long-term landowners and institutional property owners to maximise the potential of their assets. Our joint venture with Aviva Capital Partners, brings together the skills and financial capacity to unlock this potential and to deliver a range of socially responsible projects across the UK, with long term benefits for local communities and investors.
“Aviva and Stories are forming partnerships with private landowners and property-owning institutions like the NHS, local authorities and charities, to help them deliver purposeful development to benefit their communities directly and fund core activities. These partnerships, built on a shared commitment to social benefit, extend from helping define an opportunity and achieving planning permission, right through into the operation of a development.”Richard Meier, CEO, Stories
The joint venture is already under offer on a residential Build to Rent development opportunity in London, which will deliver 50% affordable housing and be net-zero carbon in operation. Once complete, the development will address an undersupply of high-quality rental accommodation in the area and deliver the landowner a long-term income.
“Our joint venture with Stories will use Aviva Group’s financial strength to create projects that improve the infrastructure and sustainability of our communities while also delivering enduring returns to support retirement incomes for Aviva’s customers.
“The joint venture is the first commitment by Aviva Capital Partners (ACP), Aviva’s in-house capital unit. Investing for the future is vital for Aviva’s customers and it’s vital for the UK.”John Cummins, Aviva Capital Partners CEO at Aviva
Stories was established in 2018 by Richard Meier, a former partner at Argent, Paul Clark, former Head of Development at GL Hearn, and James Scott, former COO of The Collective, to focus on purposeful property development projects. In line with its B-Corp certification, all of Stories’ projects must meet balanced targets against the ‘triple bottom line’ of social, environmental and financial outcomes.
The socially responsible developer recently announced the hiring of Jessica Dialdas from Homes England and Phyllis Agbo from Crest Nicholson as Senior Development Managers and is currently looking for a further two Development Managers to support its expansion.
Alongside other projects, Stories is also the development partner to St Mungo’s at 217 Harrow Road in Westminster. Following a planning application in late 2021, Stories has recently secured planning permission for a new homelessness treatment centre, to be fully funded by a neighbouring Build to Rent development. Stories and St Mungo’s are preparing for a start on site later this year.