Abrdn Ltd., a UK-based property developer and John Lewis, one of the UK’s largest retailers, have agreed to develop 1,000 new homes for rental in London. The deal is estimated to be worth about £500 million and will create about 16,000 direct jobs.

The new homes will be built by Abrdn in partnership with John Lewis. The project is expected to be completed over a 15-year period. John Lewis is investing at least £33 million in the project, while Abrdn will invest the balance. Both companies have agreed not to identify individual sites before securing planning permission for them.

John Lewis acquired a 55% stake in Livingplace Group, a UK real estate investment manager, in 2006 for £40 million. In addition to the 1,000 new homes that are being developed through this deal with Abrdn Ltd. the company already has about 3,500 homes for rent in the UK.

Abrdn is a large property developer in the London area. The firm is recognized for its high-rise luxury residential buildings and high-end retail properties.

John Lewis is a well-known chain of supermarkets and department stores throughout the UK. The company employs over 68,000 people and had total sales of £13 billion during 2009. John Lewis’s prominent advertising campaigns are aimed at increasing customer loyalty by emphasizing its social responsibility to their customers as well as to its employees.

The 1,000 new homes for rent in London are expected to include flats, houses and maisonettes. The development will be predominantly in the southeast area of London, where property prices are higher and job opportunities exist.

The homes to rent will be developed under a government initiative that encourages developers to build homes for sale with a portion designated for lease. This program was established in 2007 by the UK’s Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). It requires developers to set aside 20% of the total building capacity for affordable housing that is intended for rent rather than sale. By completing this project Abrdn Ltd. and John Lewis will help to meet their obligation as required under this initiative.

Read more on The Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/market-data/quotes/uk/xlon/ABDN