Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch sold to billionaire

A Victorian-style train station surrounded by trees and flowers on Neverland Ranch
Neverland Ranch, in the Santa Ynez Valley, spans 2,700 acre and has a 12,000-square-foot French Normandy-style mansion, three guesthouses, a movie theater, a train station and a 4-acre lake with a waterfall.
(Jim Bartsch)

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley has found a new owner in billionaire businessman Ron Burkle.

Burkle views the 2,700-acre property in Los Olivos, near Santa Barbara, as a land banking opportunity, his spokesman said Thursday in an email.

The Wall Street Journal reports the property was sold for $22 million to Burkle, an associate of the late pop star and cofounder of the investment firm Yucaipa Cos.

The asking price of the property was $100 million in 2016 then dropped to $67 million a year later.


In addition to a 12,500-square-foot main residence and a 3,700-square-foot pool house, the property has a separate building with a 50-seat movie theater and a dance studio.

Other features on the ranch are a “Disney-style” train station, a firehouse and a barn.

Burkle’s spokesman said the billionaire had been eyeing Zaca Lake — which adjoins the property — for a new Soho House, a members-only club with locations in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Toronto. Burkle ultimately decided the location was too remote and expensive for a club.

Burkle is the controlling shareholder of Soho House.

After Burkle saw the property from the air, he put in an offer to purchase.