The new division – called be:here – has reached agreement with M&G Investments’ Secured Property Income Fund to invest in its first scheme of 233 apartments next to East India Dock DLR station in East London.
The apartments will be owned by M&G and the rented element managed under the be:here brand.
The scheme 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 ten years.
Construction of the homes will start immediately with renters moving in during 2015.
The be:here business is in the process of acquiring further sites across London and at central locations in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds that are each capable of accommodating single developments of 100–400 apartments.
Andrew Telfer, divisional chief executive at Willmott Dixon Regen, 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.
“We’re offering a positive alternative to home ownership underpinned by our ‘Rent Well Spent’ commitment to tenants.
“Our whole be:here product proposition has been developed by asking thousands of renters what they want; something we believe has never been done on this scale before.
“be:here embraces customer needs through apartments and services designed specifically for renters in convenient locations, at fair prices with a landlord they can trust.”