BASS RIVER TOWNSHIP — The 54-acre property valued at more than $3 million sometimes referred to as New Jersey's Neverland was sold prior to a scheduled auction Friday afternoon, according to the website for Maltz Auctions. 

The auction was supposed to take place at 2 p.m. Friday, but has been cancelled.

The compound was previously listed for $3.25 million and has been on sale for the past year. The home is physically located in Bass River Township, Burlington County, but the mailing address is Tuckerton, Ocean County.

The massive, oddball estate along Route 9 here has had several incarnations, having been a 19th-century farm, an Atlantic City man's casino payday and a New York man's dream scape.

Once a farm owned by Benjamin Franklin Headley in the last 1800's, the property was purchased in the 1970s by Eddie Sims of Brigantine, according to a local history blog by Pete Stemmer called Bass River History.

Sims was able to afford the Ocean County farm after selling a plot of bay front land in Brigantine to Harrah's Casino.

Current owner, Byung Taek Kim, bought the land in 2010 as a family summer home. More renovations and remodels took place, including the quirky landscaping which has made the site a landmark.

The compound was previously listed for $3.25 million and has been on sale for the past year. The home is physically located in Bass River Township, Burlington County, but the mailing address is Tuckerton, Ocean County.

Even though the statues and airplane replicas are not for sale, there are still many remnants that give the property a playground or amusement park feel.

The plot has a million-gallon pool with a three-story watchtower and footbridge, a lighted tennis court, two private ponds stocked with perch and bass, two enclosed paddocks and riding path, a greenhouse, a 100-foot dog run, fountains and waterfalls.

“Most of the people (who will bid on the property) have already toured and seen the property,” Maltz said.

Besides the stuff that might be more of interest to children, there is a 10,000-square-foot main residence that includes a 2,600-square-foot master suite, six bedrooms, five bathrooms and a grand staircase.

There is a caretaker house with two apartments and two helicopters. All fixtures to the buildings, lights, window treatments and built-in appliances are included in the sale.

In the main residence, you can see three built-in stained-glass windows into the den or family room, a guest wing on the second floor, and an exercise room.

A Korean flag can be seen on a flag pole, which is due to the property being purchased in 2010 by Kim, chairman of the Taekwondo Association of Greater New York.

Kim never really lived at the property. He lives in Fort Lee, Bergen County, but some martial arts pictures are still on the walls of the main house.

“Mr. Kim bought the property in order to remodel it into a summer shore retreat — and private family fun park — for his family,” Maltz said in a statement. “Motorists through the years have had the opportunity to watch the property evolve. How often do you get to purchase a home with this amount of fantastical history?”

Everyone below the top bidder will receive their $45,000 check back upon completion of the auction, Maltz said.

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Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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