EcoWorld London delivers its first Build to Rent scheme as part of a record Invesco Real Estate deal, progressing its ambition of becoming a leading Build to Rent developer. The milestone follows EcoWorld London’s £400m deal with global real estate investment manager Invesco Real Estate in 2018, which forward funded Barking Wharf and the Kew Bridge scheme – one of the largest ever deals of its kind in the UK.
“Since 2014, when we made our first investment, Invesco Real Estate has today committed over £1bn to the UK residential sector. Our largest development partner, who has delivered 1,201 units across three developments has been the EcoWorld Team, with Apo continuing to manage all three investments.
“We have been delighted with both the timeliness of delivery and the quality that has been delivered at Barking Wharf by EcoWorld London and Midgard. In addition, the Apo team has delivered an exceptional service through the mobilisation and stabilisation of the property, which has been achieved over 12 months ahead of business plan. We look forward to working with the teams on the final delivery and mobilisation of Kew Bridge.”John German, Managing Director, Residential Investments, Invesco real Estate
Barking Wharf has been handed over to management company Apo, a sister company to EcoWorld London. Providing 595 Build to Rent homes, all homes have been let by Apo in 14 months from handover of the first completed homes – setting a market leading pace.
Amenities at Barking Wharf include a concierge, gym, and social and work lounges for residents. New shops, cafes, and a new museum for the borough are also opening on site soon. EcoWorld London worked closely in partnership with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to deliver this ongoing multimillion-pound regeneration, which has been years in the making.
“Barking Wharf is hugely significant to the borough as well as to EcoWorld London, marking a key step in our ambition to become one of the UK’s leading Build to Rent developers. The quality of the homes and their design is reflected in the high levels of demand Apo has seen, and we hope the success of this scheme through our pioneering approach to Build to Rent development paves the way for even better, more innovative Build to Rent projects in the future.
“We’re proud to have delivered great new homes, public realm and facilities for the residents and the borough, in addition to the hundreds of jobs created for locals and £40m invested in the local supply chain during construction. We are truly committed to Barking and are keen to work further with the community and council to deliver more long-term investment.”Heng Leong Cheong, CEO, EcoWorld London
EcoWorld London is also due to complete and hand over the final phase of its Build to Rent scheme in Kew Bridge in July, which also forms part of the original deal with Invesco Real Estate and is managed by Apo. The buildings at Kew Bridge comprise 487 Build to Rent apartments with extensive residents’ amenity spaces and a restaurant and coffee shop on the ground floor. The Build to Rent homes form part of a wider £600m regeneration of brownfield land, which facilitated the delivery of the new 17,250 seat Brentford FC stadium and will sit alongside 495 open market sale homes, retail spaces and new public realm in Bretford.
The site was previously home to the Abbey Retail Park car park and is situated opposite a medieval monastery. It has now been transformed into a bustling community, with new green spaces, food markets and live music events. Improvements have been made to the pedestrian and cycle routes in the area – 821 cycle parking spaces have been created and the river walk has been reopened, enabling access from the Abbey Grounds to the River Roding for the first time.
Working closely with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Midgard, the contractor on site, EcoWorld London ensured employment opportunities were made available to locals throughout development and created over 900 new jobs.
“Eight years on from having identified what was an under-utilised retail park as a great location for Build to Rent, it’s great to see the completed scheme with its vibrant new community and over 1,000 residents enjoying living there. The speed at which all the homes were let despite the challenges and market changes due to Covid, to us, is proof that working closely with EcoWorld London from the outset has allowed us to create a premium product that renters need and want.
“We’ve received excellent feedback from our residents, who love the high-quality finish of the homes, the range of amenities and above all, the fact that the development has been designed with their needs and lifestyle in mind. We will continue to engage with our residents so we can ensure we offer the best possible service and amenities both at Barking Wharf and for future schemes.”Matthew Pullen, CEO, Apo Group Ltd