Anglo-Australian giant signs deal to develop luxury residential schemes worldwide.

London-based designer-developer Yoo has teamed up with project management giant Bovis Lend Lease to roll out luxury residential developments worldwide.

Under the deal, Bovis Lend Lease will co-ordinate and manage projects for Yoo, a joint venture between British developer John Hitchcox and French architect-designer Philippe Starck.

Yoo offers tenants the opportunity to customise the interiors of apartments from fittings selected by Starck. Sydney-based Bovis Lend Lease group executive Mark Sydney will run a unit that will finance, manage and monitor Yoo projects.

It will also assist in finding sites and introducing Yoo to possible joint-venture partners among its clients. “In that case, Yoo would either do a joint buy with Bovis Lend Lease’s client or act as a design consultant,” says Hitchcox. Yoo is currently negotiating to buy two sites in Australia, which it was made aware of through Bovis Lend Lease’s Sydney office.

Bovis sees Yoo bringing great value to its existing network of clients and contacts

John Hitchcox

Yoo, which was set up in 1999, will have 1000 flats worth £200m under construction in four sites throughout the world by the end of 2000. The developments include a £35m, 38-unit project in Maida Vale, north-west London, to be completed in 2001.

A Starck-designed 12 000 m2 warehouse conversion, with an adjoining block of 100 new-build flats, will start on site this month in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires.

Bovis Lend Lease has recently worked with both Yoo and Starck as project manager on developments such as the Sanderson and St Martin’s Lane hotels, where the client was hotelier Ian Schraeger.

Hitchcox said of the agreement: “Yoo can gain access to the services of 290 Bovis Lend Lease offices around the world and Bovis Lend Lease sees Yoo bringing great value to its existing network of clients and contacts.” Yoo is negotiating to raise £20-50m with other property companies and venture capitalists, to fund further projects, which may include commercial developments.