Neverland Ranch sold Michael Jackson for $ 22 million, less than a quarter of its starting price of $ 100 million, to billionaire investor Ron Burkle in a deal that described one LA agent as “theft.”
The property in Los Olivos, California has been home to the late pop star since 1987, when he was at the height of his fame, until his death in June 2009. He died of a drug overdose at another home in Holmby Hills, a Los Angeles neighborhood.
Of Jackson’s two estates, Neverland, located on 2,698 acres of land, was far more famous. During the 1990s, Santa Barbara County prosecutors famously searched the ranch, describing it as a fantasy world that Jackson built to lure boys to the estate to harass them. Jackson was acquitted in that case.
The ranch included an added amusement park, a train ride and a zoo where orangutans lived and an elephant named Gypsy given by singer-songwriter Elizabeth Taylor in 1991. Neverland was placed on the market with 100 million dollars in 2015.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Jackson’s ranch was finally bought by Burkle, a former associate of the late pop star and co-founder of investment company Yucaipa Companies, after it was re-listed at $ 31 million this year.
At the time of the sale, it was co-owned by Jackson’s property with a fund managed by Colony Capital, a real estate investment trust. Jackson originally paid $ 19.5 million for the ranch, but he settled the loan under which the property stood and placed it in a joint venture with confidence.
LA real estate agent Ian Reed told the Guardian that even given the house’s “creepy past” and the fact that the ranch, built in 1982, has an outdated interior, it could be considered a price theft.
“It may be like a haunted house, but the buyer just agreed – it’s actually a theft,” Reed said.
The buyer advised Jackson on business matters a few years before his death, when the pop star was working on getting out of financial trouble. He is known to have several houses in the area, including the Ennis House in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the John Lautner House in Palm Springs, designed and built for Bob and Dolores Hope.
According to the census, the Sycamore Valley Ranch, called NeverLand, consists of a 12,000-square-meter villa in Normandy, France, and “is a superb refuge on the ranch … nestled between landscaped gardens and a 4-acre lake, stunning pastoral views to the south and magnificent views of a mountain in the north. “
The property includes “a spacious covered outdoor barbecue area perfect for fun by the pool, cottage by the pool and tennis court.” The property also has three separate guest houses, a 5,500-square-foot cinema with a stage, stables, animal shelters, pens and a maintenance shop.
At one time, Jackson installed a flower clock on the gates of the estate that wrote the “Neverland” name that comes, of course, from Peter Pan’s JM Barrie. After Jackson’s death, the estate was renamed the Sycamore Valley Ranch and the fun rides were dismantled.