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Interest in Michael Jackson's former Neverland Ranch soars

Interest in Michael Jackson's former Neverland Ranch soars
The 2,700-acre former Neverland ranch in Los Olivos, once home to pop musician Michael Jackson, has been listed for sale at $100 million. (Jim Bartsch | Inset: Los Angeles Times)

The calls started coming in at 4 a.m.

The day after news broke that singer Michael Jackson’s former Neverland Ranch was on the market for $100 million, the three listing agents for the 2,700-acre property in Los Olivos have had their hands full. Hundreds of media outlets are covering the story, which is trending hugely online.

At Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills, all inquiries are being shunted to a public relations person due to the volume of calls.

But not just any billionaire will be allowed in to the see the storied property, which is owned by Thomas Barrack Jr.'s Colony Capital and has been renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch.

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"We're going to be very particular on who sees it," said Jeffrey Hyland, who shares the listing with Suzanne Perkins and Harry Kolb of Sotheby's International Real Estate. "In this case, we'll only show to those who are super-qualified and that we know have a definite interest in buying."

Hyland's office alone had received more than 100 such inquiries in less than 24 hours from all six continents.

"We've been given carte-blanche to use our discretion on whether or not someone should see it," he said. "That will help us in working through the inquiries."

The estate, which has about 22 buildings, including the main house, two guesthouses, a 50-seat theater, a train station and barns, is not zoned for commercial use. Trails crisscross the bucolic site and thousands of oak trees dot the property that the late superstar once called home.

"It will remain a private estate," Hyland said, "like those surrounding it."

Twitter: @LATHotProperty

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