A piece of pop music history, that's what - Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch goes up for sale
What would you do if you won the lottery this weekend? Buy a yacht? A football club? Well, you could also buy Neverland. Michael Jackson’s famous mansion / theme park in Santa Barbara is being put up for sale by property developers Colony Capital. While the property is valued at $27 million, industry insiders expect that it could sell for as high as $60 million because of its inherent value as a pop culture landmark.
Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch (Credit: Getty 2003/Frazer Harrison)
While Neverland is owned by the Estate of Michael Jackson, Colony Capital have maintained a 12.5% undivided stake since 2008 when they bought out the late singer’s $23 million mortgage to prevent foreclosure on the property. Nearly six years later, Colony has exercised its legal right to sell the property in order to settle debts owed from the loan, interest etc..
Jackson, who died of acute Propofol intoxication in June 2009, lived at the property until his child molestation trial in 2003. After he felt that the extensive police investigation and searches of the property had “violated” it, he lived in another property in Encino. In 2006, all of its facilities were closed and most of the staff at Neverland were made redundant.
Jackson originally purchased the land from golf course entrepreneur William Bone in 1988 for a fee somewhere between $16-30 million. In addition to being his home, Neverland was Jackson’s private amusement park.
So, what would you get for your $60 million? Stories concerning the magnificence of the property are legendary, reminiscent of the ludicrous splendour of Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu mansion in the film Citizen Kane. In addition to over 3,000 acres of land, there is definitely a petting zoo, numerous rollercoasters and rides such as an Octopus, Carousel, Zipper and Pirate Ship, as well as bumper cars, amusement arcades and a Ferris wheel. Oh, and two railroads with steam locomotives, apparently.