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ORLANDO-In an unconventional deal, Orlando timeshare developer David A. Siegel has offered to buy the shuttered 67-year-old, 230-acre Cypress Gardens water attraction for an estimated $17 million or $73,913 per acre ($1.70 per sf) and then resell the property immediately to the state, area brokers and Siegel’s aides confirm to GlobeSt.com. Siegel was in Las Vegas attending to his other commercial properties and couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The state is specifically interested in saving the 36-acre botanical gardens section and the most historical parts of Cypress Gardens, according to sources in the governor’s office. The state could accomplish that task by buying a conservation easement and not the entire park from an owner or owners, an Orlando real estate appraiser tells GlobeSt.com.

“That could throw another wrench into the sale proceedings,” says the appraiser, who has completed assignments for the state in the past.

“Siegel is making the purchase offer at this time because he feels the park’s physical condition will begin to deteriorate if nothing is done before Aug. 12″, at which time Gov. Jeb Bush and his cabinet vote on buying or not buying the Polk County property in Winter Haven, FL, 60 miles south of Downtown Orlando, an area broker who has advised Siegel on other timeshare deals tells GlobeSt.com.

“David is not a person to wait around and see if a deal goes down or not,” the broker says. Siegel and majority park owners Larry Maxwell and William Reynolds have not disclosed the contract amount. But Siegel has publicly disclosed that the owners were looking for $16 million to $17 million for the property, area brokers say.

If he buys the property, Siegel’s offer to resell the asset to the state would hinge on the state giving him a 99-year lease to operate and manage Cypress Gardens. Any profits made at the park would be passed on the state, Siegel has previously said.

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