Michael Jackson’s former Neverland Ranch up for sale at $100 million
Neverland, the onetime ranch of international superstar Michael Jackson in Los Olivos, is up for sale at $100 million.
Now dubbed Sycamore Valley Ranch, the 2,700-acre spread retains the floral clock, railroad tracks and train station from Jackson’s ownership. Gone are the amusement park rides, Bubbles the chimp and the elephant.
The singer, who got his start with the Motown family group the Jackson Five and had such hit albums as “Thriller,” bought the property for $19.5 million in the late ‘80s from golf course entrepreneur William Bone.
The ranch became the scene of police investigations after allegations of child molestation arose. Jackson was charged, tried and acquitted in 2005.
He was in default on the loan on the ranch when it was purchased by Thomas Barrack Jr.’s Colony Capital about six years ago for $22.5 million. Questions immediately surfaced as to what would become of the fantastical property.
Bloomberg reported last year that the ranch was being renovated and restored in preparation for sale.
Whether enough time has passed for the pixie dust to settle around Jackson, who died in 2009 at 50, remains to be seen.
“There is obviously a lot of affection for him and his talent,” said Randall Bell, a specialist in valuing stigmatized properties with Laguna Beach-based consulting firm Bell Anderson & Sanders. “But it’s hard to get by the fact that Neverland is closely associated with child molestation. I think $100 million is very optimistic.”
The property, outside Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley, centers on a Normandy-style mansion of 12,000 square feet with six bedrooms and staff quarters. A four-bedroom guesthouse and a two-bedroom guesthouse are among nearly two dozen other structures on the estate.
A swimming pool and sports courts are also on the grounds.
Suzanne Perkins and Harry Kolb of Sotheby’s International Realty and Jeffrey Hyland of Hilton & Hyland are the listing agents.
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