A new co-living venture, backed by Oaktree Capital and led by former Blackstone, Collective and WeWork executives, has been launched with an initial plan to develop a £1bn (€1.2m) portfolio in London.

Balance Out Living has received approval and expects to develop a 213-studio apartment scheme at Culvert Road in London, the newly launched company said, adding that it has more than 900 additional homes in various stages of planning across central London.

The co-living platform – backed by Oaktree Capital’s European Principal Fund V fund – plans to develop an initial portfolio worth up to £1bn before expanding into Europe, Balance Out Living said.

Balance Out Living was founded by co-CEOs Sarah Christie and Zafar Bhunnoo, who previously held senior roles at Blackstone, the Collective, Spaces Co-Living and WeWork.

Christie said: “We are thrilled to have received planning approval for our first development. “This decision represents a major vote of confidence in our vision to provide an attainable, stress-free housing option that has wellbeing and community at its core.”

Bhunnoo said: “Balance Out Living will provide a better value alternative to the mainstream rental market without compromising on space, privacy or quality.

“Our focus is on building a high-quality stabilised portfolio in London, acquiring additional sites where we can deliver schemes of appropriate size and scale, before expanding into other European cities where there are similar underlying market fundamentals that support the growth of co-living.”

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