Sunday 25 August 2019

BMW deal boost for Mondello Park owner Birrane

John Reynolds

Mayo motor racing enthusiast and property developer Martin Birrane aims to grow revenues at his Kildare racetrack, Mondello Park, to €4m next year, thanks to a new partnership with BMW to base six of its fastest new cars there.

"From January, we'll have two BMW M2s, two M4s and two Mini Cooper S available to our corporate and retail customers, in addition to our existing fleet of Porsches, Mazdas and single-seaters," the Ballina native and former Le Mans racing driver and Irish land speed record holder said.

"Our turnover is steadily climbing from €3m, we're profitable and the track operated on 290 days this year."

Meanwhile, Birrane's UK property investment firm, Peer Group, saw its net assets boosted by €23.7m to €243m for the year to July.

This was thanks largely to rising property values in southern England, although the firm also owns a shopping centre near Newcastle. The firm also owns beachside development land near Touros in the Natal region of Brazil.

It has planning permission to build 230 villas and apartments, a hotel and holiday resort there.

The Mayo man is hoping to win approval in London to redevelop The Hop Exchange, a landmark building he owns in Southwark near fashionable Borough Market and The Shard building, by adding three floors for office or restaurant and hotel accommodation.

"Brexit has had little effect on our mainly commercial property portfolio, in contrast with the fall in prime London residential property values due to stamp duty and non-dom rule changes. Irish property, meanwhile, looks set to continue outperforming the UK in general," he said.

The 81-year-old avid car collector, who already owns a number of rare classics, may treat himself to a Ferrari California next year, he said.

Sunday Independent

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