Mr Barrett bought a four-acre field on Cork city’s Airport Hill in March 2006 — the very height of the boom in development land values for €13.8m.
Since then he has added to the site, acquiring a further 1.5 acres for an undisclosed extra sum. Although he drew up plans for offices, commercial space, an hotel, and apartments on the land, he never sought planning permission.
The balance of the land, which set a Cork auction record, was a further 11 acres across the Airport/Kinsale Road, and that was bought by Cork developer Denis O’Flynn for €13.7m. No planning application has been made for either land parcel.
It was confirmed this week that Gerry Barrett is seeking now to sell on his costly 5.5 Cork acres. It is listed, in its entirety or in lots, with sales agent Peter O’Flynn of DTZ Sherry FitzGerald.
It is given an optimistic €2/3m per acre value, but sources say any offers will fall very far short of that.