The sites include building over Waitrose shops in Bromley and West Ealing in Greater London, as well as replacing a vacant John Lewis warehouse in Mill Lane, Reading.
John Lewis has committed to deliver 10,000 homes in the next 10 years – 5,000 of these will come from schemes on the Partnership’s own property portfolio.
It said it has already identified around 20 sites that it will extend or redevelop with build to rent schemes, and then become the landlord once housing is built.
Moving into the rental homes market is part of the firm’s long-term plan for 40% of profits to come from outside of retail by 2030.
The homes would be built for different sized households and designed to John Lewis’ high standards.
Residents would have options for short and long-term tenure and to have the homes furnished by John Lewis.
Buildings will also come with facilities such as roof gardens and fitness studios.
The homes would form part of the UK’s growing ‘built-to-rent’ property market as the Partnership seeks to raise standards in rental property, both through its role as developer and a commitment to manage the buildings.
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.”