Law firm Russell-Cooke has advised Viewranks Estates on the early stages of their development of the first co-living scheme in Kingston-upon-Thames with a value of approximately £60m.

Developer Viewranks Estates has been granted planning permission to redevelop a commercial property currently occupied by retailers Sports Direct and PC World, into a luxury co-living scheme. The development is for a 200-bed scheme with up to nine storeys.

The scheme will be built in the 36,000 sq ft space to be vacated by the current tenants in 2021. It will be managed by Viewranks' subsidiary, Nineyards Co-Living.

Viewranks is a family business which has instructed members of the Russell-Cooke real estate team for over 30 years. Based in South West London, the company acquires and develops a diverse portfolio of commercial and residential properties throughout the region.

Co-living schemes enable single people to rent private rooms with communal living spaces. These rooms are fitted with an ensuite shower room and kitchenette. The internal amenity space is to include a gym, workspace, a lounge, communal Masterchef-style kitchen and cinema room. There will be external landscaped space as well as a cafe and restaurant.

This is the first such scheme in Kingston. However, a number of similar co-living schemes have already gained approval in London that have benefitted from new policy support in the forthcoming London Plan. Projects have also come forward in other major UK cities and are widespread in northern Europe.

Russell-Cooke advised Viewranks on acquisition, site assembly and regearing of the site. The team consisted of real estate partners Arnold Isaacson and Robert Lusher with property litigation partner Paul Greatholder advising on obtaining vacant possession.

The team has in the past also acted for other providers in this emerging sector in the management and administration of such schemes once set up.

Russell-Cooke real estate partner Arnold Isaacson commented: "There has been an increased demand for co-living spaces in central locations and we anticipate seeing many more of these types of developments.  This will help to provide not only valuable living space but also help repurpose and regenerate the high street. We are delighted to have been involved in the early stages of this one with Viewranks. They are a longstanding client with a very innovative approach and we look forward to working on further exciting developments with them."

Viewranks Managing Director Richard Beim said: "This is one of three co-living schemes we are currently developing as we believe the concept suits many individuals' current and future lifestyle choices. For individuals of any age, looking to live in a sociable, convenient and high quality environment, Nineyards Kingston is designed for them and we look forward to welcoming them once we complete the construction. We are always pleased to have Arnie and the Russell-Cooke team by our sides as we further diversify our portfolio."