Pipers announce asking price for closed Everglades Wonder Gardens

Everglades Wonder Gardens 
 1950's 
 Date unknown 
 Submitted

Everglades Wonder Gardens 1950's Date unknown Submitted

William DeShazer/Staff 
 David Piper Jr. holds down an American Crocodile to try and determine its sex at the Everglades Wonder Gardens on Tuesday April 16, 2013.

Photo by WILLIAM DESHAZER, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

William DeShazer/Staff David Piper Jr. holds down an American Crocodile to try and determine its sex at the Everglades Wonder Gardens on Tuesday April 16, 2013.

— With the Everglades Wonder Gardens closed, its owners are going public with an asking price for the historic 3.5-acre property: $3.95 million.

After fielding offers without a publicly known sale price for the Bonita Springs site, located downtown off Old 41 Road, owners David and Dawn Piper released the asking price Saturday night.

The Pipers closed the Wonder Gardens, a 77-year-old roadside zoo, last week due to David Piper’s health. He has a painful, inoperable tumor at the bottom of the spinal column.

Tina Schucklat Boole, the Pipers’ real estate broker, said the family went public with an asking price “to be straightforward about the process.”

“This has been a very visible sale,” Schucklat Boole said.

The Wonder Gardens property presents several unique traits — waterfront access to the Imperial River, a spot in the heart of downtown Bonita Springs, and trees valued by an arborist at about $1.7 million, according to the Pipers.

“This is full-on history,” Schucklat Boole said of the location. “People have brought their children and grandchildren here for years.”

The asking price includes the trees and all other parts of the property, she said.

In the 48 hours after the Pipers’ announcement of the zoo’s closing, the couple said it fielded several offers, including a few to keep the zoo open. The Pipers, however, have said they won’t part with the property as part of a fire sale.

Many of the Wonder Gardens animals have gone to other zoos, refuges and to private owners.

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