Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) and Octopus Real Estate’s newly created UK retirement living partnership has made its first investment.

The partnership, known as Senior Living Investment Partners, has teamed up with Elysian Residences to buy a nine-acre site in Hertfordshire to develop a £115m (€132m) retirement community in How Wood in St Albans.

The development will be luxury retirement living specialist Elysian’s sixth integrated retirement community.

Gavin Stein, CEO of Elysian Residences, said: “Senior Living Investment Partners is further proof of the great potential of this growing alternative residential sector to institutional capital.

”PIC is at the forefront of driving change, embracing new ideas and identifying innovative solutions in the pensions industry, which aligns well with Octopus’s vision of re-imagining real estate investment by considering purpose and impact as well as profit, along with our own vision to be one of the foremost providers of inspiring and elegant retirement communities in the UK with a focus on putting our customers first.”

Stein said Elysian is “actively looking for new sites and investment opportunities to undertake with PIC and Octopus Real Estate”. Knight Frank acted for Elysian Residences on this deal.

Max Cawthorn, a senior strategy manager at PIC, a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension funds, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Elysian on the How Wood village development, the first investment for Senior Living Investment Partners.

“Local St Albans residents will be given the opportunity to purchase the residences off-plan first, and we expect high demand for these high quality and well-located homes, which will be purpose-built to empower our residents to live independently.”

Kevin Beirne, the head of retirement living at Octopus Real Estate, said: “Developing more retirement communities at pace presents a brilliant opportunity for investors, operator partners, those approaching or in retirement, and for the UK and the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

“This first investment via our partnership with PIC has the prospect to deliver both strong returns for our stakeholders and strong impact returns by combatting some of the UK’s biggest problems, not least the housing crisis and pressures on health services.”

Through the Senior Living Investment Partners joint venture, PIC and Octopus Real Estate expect to provide homes for around 2,000 older residents. The venture expects to deliver a portfolio with a gross development value of around £1bn.

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