Irish property developer Aidan Brooks has amassed a fortune worth £500 million, but the new owner of Brixton Market has humble roots.
The 47 year-old started off installing TV aerials in his home town of Limerick, before moving into property.
At age 18 he began buying, improving and letting houses in Limerick city centre.
During the boom he spent €12.2 million doing up his house in Limerick, including a swimming pool, jacuzzi and treehouse. He later bought the Bishop of Limerick’s former house for €27 million, later selling it on and moving with his family to London.
His company, Tribeca Holdings, soon expanded from small-time Limerick apartment deals into top-end global real estate.
Last year Tribeca sold more than $500 million of retail buildings in the US, including stores leased to Hermes and Graff Diamonds on New York’s Madison Avenue and to Chanel in San Francisco.
The proceeds were used to buy out fellow shareholders in a €1.4 billion (£1 billion) property portfolio, which comprised more than 100 retail outlets such as the Brompton Cross Estate in Knightsbridge, stores on Bond Street and Old Spitalfields Market near the City of London financial district.
Brooks has signed up new leases with Rolex, Patek Philippe and several Estée Lauder brands.
In 2015, Tribeca Holdings appointed the prestigious Rothschild firm to sell or refinance its properties situated on Oxford Street, opposite Selfridges’ department store.
Brooks moved all his operations from Limerick’s Henry Street to Berkeley Square, Mayfair in London in 2011, escaping the economic storm which engulfed other property developers locally.
It was recently revealed that the famous market has been sold for £37.3 million to a private group of real estate companies, which includes Brooks.
He beat Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, which had been in talks to buy the market for £30 million until the deal collapsed a month ago.
GCW, one of the selling agents for the vendor London & Associated Properties, said the deal with Ashley had fallen apart as the “previous party did not comply with the agreed time scales”.
London & Associated Properties has owned the site since 2006. Boss John Heller said: “Brixton Markets were in a state of decline when we acquired them. We are proud that today they are home to arguably the most vibrant restaurant scene in London.”
It is hoped Brooks will maintain the area’s cultural heritage, after locals criticised Sports Direct for buying up shops on Pope’s Road.