Moda, a developer creating thousands of homes for rent, has announced a partnership with hero, the digital wellness company founded by the former boss of WeWork and Virgin Active.
Joe Gaunt was most recently the UK managing director at the $35bn co-working giant before setting up hero, a digital wellness platform. The company provides personal and group training alongside an app to help track how activity, nutrition, mindfulness and movement impact people’s health and wellbeing.
Moda’s partnership with hero aims to go one step further than simply creating gyms and shared amenities, by forging a more open and inclusive approach to supporting its residents’ physical, social and mental wellbeing.
Johnny Caddick, managing director at Moda, said:
“Our focus is to provide the healthiest possible environments alongside a great living experience cutting out the hassle and uncertainty that usually comes with renting. Loneliness and mental health are in issues facing society. Our aim is to create happy, healthy and productive communities that can help allieviate the daily pressures of city living.”
The Office for National Statistics said in April that 61% of young renters reported feeling lonely occasionally, often, or always, versus 46% of the overall sample. It said that the problem was most acute in renters who have “little trust and sense of belonging to their area.”
Training club – more than just a gym
The first 10,000 sq. ft. hero training club will occupy the ground floor of Moda’s Manchester 35-storey 466-home build-to-rent scheme Angel Gardens when it completes next year. The training club will be split into four zones, to reflect four disciplines; Stronger, Athletic, Cardio and Rejuvenate. Unlike traditional gyms, members will either work out with a personal trainer or as part of a group class. Hero’s innovative tech encourages people to live healthier lifestyles, pulling analytics from wearables used to track sleep, movement, nutrition and mood, as well as 3D body scanning, to help its members understand and set goals to improve their wellbeing.
Prioritising emotional and physical wellness
As well as focusing on physical health, the partnership with hero will also provide support around nutrition and mindfulness. Hero will provide mental health first aid training to Moda’s on-site resident team, helping them identify and provide support to a person who may be developing a mental health issue.
hero recently acquired a specialist nutrition company that works with everyone from international rugby teams to premier league champions which will enable it to provide the same pro-sport nutrition advice to Moda residents.
hero’s platform encourages members and residents to form groups and compete with each other, gamifying the wellbeing experience and enabling community events such as nutrition led cooking classes and group fitness.
Joe Gaunt, founder of hero, said:
“Whether you’re a footballer, a researcher, a plumber or a teacher, the principles surrounding wellbeing and lifestyle are the same. But we feel traditional gyms and healthcare aren’t tailored to individuals and don’t provide enough personal insight and support to help people achieve their unique goals. We believe we have the right mix to benefit our communities and using technology as an enabler we can better inform and educate people to make healthy choices. By partnering with Moda, we want to help enhance the experience for those living in city centres and bring all aspects of wellbeing and health right to the fore.”
With strategic funding partner Apache Capital Partners, Moda has a growing pipeline of 7,000 homes for rent across the UK with multiple city centre schemes underway across England and Scotland.
Aimed at young professionals, young families and downsizing seniors keen to reconnect with urban living, Moda plans to offer long-term tenancies and an array of shared spaces which will include over 80 co-working bays in its Manchester scheme.
Build-to-rent developers like Moda invest institutional capital to fund and operate whole buildings specifically for rent. These economies of scale allow impressive shared lounges, cinema rooms and wellness zones to be included. But above all, the service and quality of the buildings will far surpass current buy-to-let housing.
Richard Jackson, co-founder and managing director at Apache Capital Partners, said:
“Partnering with hero allows us to bring something completely new to the residential market, creating a truly comprehensive wellness offer combining both digital and in-person services that work across physical, social and mental health. As a long-term investor we have to consider not only how people live now but also in the coming years, which is why we’re partnering with leading companies on the cutting edge of their respective fields to create a seamless, future-proofed rental experience.”
Claire Racine, associate director – upstream sustainability at JLL, said:
“Forward thinking companies are investing in promoting the wellbeing of their customers – whether in offices or homes – because those businesses recognize the link to future-proofed buildings, greater client loyalty and better market differentiation. By partnering with hero as part of its wellbeing strategy, Moda continues to provide unique, creative solutions to the challenges of urban living.”