Related expands UK push

The New York-based firm bought a 50 percent stake in a London affordable housing developer, less than a year after its first UK joint venture.

The Related Companies, the developer and third party fund manager, is continuing its push into the UK, this time through the acquisition of a stake in a local developer.

The New York-based firm acquired a 50 percent stake in London affordable housing developer Pocket, the groups said Tuesday. Terms of the latest deal were not disclosed, and Related could not be reached for comment.

Pocket, based in London, builds small one-bedroom homes for first-time homebuyers at a discount. The houses are set aside for buyers who earn less than the London government’s threshold for affordable housing. The firm seeks to finish 4,000 homes by 2023, citing demand for home ownership in a city with high costs for both renters and buyers, and government incentives for first-time buyers.

“Great cities must provide housing for the full range of its workforce and we believe Pocket provides a smart solution — well-designed, quality-built, affordable housing in the parts of London where its knowledge workers want to live and work,” said Stephen Ross, Related’s founder and chairman, in a statement Tuesday.

This latest transaction marks Related’s second venture in a year across the pond. Last March, Related formed Argent Related, a joint venture with UK-based Argent Group, to develop open-market and affordable housing, offices, retail leisure and hotels in mixed-use and residential developments.

Pocket and Argent Related will have a strategic partnership, according to the companies’ statements. The groups are already working together on a development at London’s King’s Cross and teamed up for a successful bid to partner at Brent Cross South, a retail and housing project located in the London borough of Barnet.

Related owns more than $20 billion worth of real estate on its balance sheet, and additionally manages about $3 billion of equity capital on behalf of sovereign wealth funds, public pension plans, multi-managers, endowments and family offices.