Irish super rich among UK’s elite property owners

Irish super rich among UK's elite property owners

The Net worth of the world’s 250 richest people with property investments in the UK has jumped by 40 per cent to more than £300 billion, the largest annual in- crease on record, according to Estates Gazette.

The publication’s survey features 60 property billionaires, compared to just 10 in 2009.

At least thirteen Irish names are included among those 250 richest.

Top of the list is Amancio Ortega, the Spanish billionaire behind the Zara fashion chain, whose total fortune is estimated at £45.7 billion but whose property empire alone is worth £5.32 billion.

He owns several prominent buildings in London’s West End buildings including Devonshire House on Piccadilly, the former home of the Dukes of Devonshire and now an office block home to hedge fund investors. Mr Ortega bought the property for more than £400m in late 2013.

Mr Ortega bought, earlier this year, a £400m development on Oxford Street which houses Primark’s flag- ship store.

In second place is China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, owner of real estate and entertainment conglomerate Wanda Group, and whose personal fortune is said to be some £22.7billion.

Among the many UK property developments he owns is One Nine Elms, part of London’s Vauxhall South Bank regeneration programme.

Ernesto Bertarelli, pharmaceuticals heir and investor in Crosstree Real Estate is listed in third place with a fortune of £10.2 billion.

Britain’s biggest land- lord, The Duke of Westminster Gerald Grosvenor, who had previously topped Estates Gazette’s Rich List every single year in the decade up to 2013 came in at number seven with a fortune of £8.8 billion, still enough to make him the UK’s wealthiest man.

The highest ranked Irish billionaire is businessman Dermot Desmond, at Number 40, whose wealth is estimated at about £1.5 billion.

He owns, or has held stakes in, several properties in London and the UK and Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

Irish super rich among UK's elite property owners
Luke and Brian Comer

Galway-born brothers Luke and Brian Comer are ranked in 71st place with their combined fortune assessed by Estates Gazette at around £750 million. Estates Gazette said it could see £75m in net assets in the UK in 14 companies.

Ryanair’s boss Michael O’Leary (£618m) is number 78 on the list by virtue of his property ventures through Bradley Investments including an office block in the City of London and an industrial estate in Altrincham.

Coolmore Stud owner John Magnier is 83rd and his associate and friend JP McManus is 84th via their property investment company Sloane Capital.

The family of the late Charles Gallagher is at 118 and at 132nd is the family Kerry builder John Murphy who died in 2009 aged 95.

Limerick businessman Aidan Brooks is ranked at 134th because he has amassed more than 56,000 square feet of retail property in London’s most expensive shopping district around Sloane Avenue, Brompton Road and Draycott Avenue via his company, Tribeca Holdings and other investments.

Green Property chairman Bristol-born son of Irish parents Stephen Vernon, chairman of Green Property, which owns Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, is 147th.

In 162nd is Charles Kenny of Clancourt Group and his family.

In 166th position is the family of Joseph Brennan of Brennan Bakeries through its holdings in New Bind Street’s Versace shop and Hamley’s premises on Re- gent Street.

Former AIB chairman Lochlann Quinn is ranked in 234th because of his London property investments while Galway-born builder Frank Burke is ranked at 242nd.

Other prominent UK billionaires on the list include Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, who turned to prime property in April, with a deal to build homes worth more than £900m in Chelsea and Alan Sugar.


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