More than six years after the death of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop’s 2,700-acre estate in California is now up for sale.
Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, which is now called Sycamore Valley Ranch, was his home in Los Olivos, California during his prime years in the music business. LA-based international investment firm Colony Capital now owns the property.
The company took over the estate and bought it for $22.5 million when Jackson defaulted on a loan before his death in 2009. Back then, the ranch was considered undervalued in spite the amount of improvement Jackson put into it.
However, Colony Capital is now selling the ranch for $100 million, more than four times its price when they bought it.
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The company has also allowed NBC’s Joe Fryer to take exclusive video footage of the entire ranch, which is a first since Michael Jackson abandoned it after child molestation accusations surfaced.
Colony Capital is said to be checking potential buyers carefully, so the virtual tour of the ranch will definitely help individuals, families, or groups who are interested in the estate.
The ranch still has the six-room mansion as its centerpiece, as well as several pieces that serve as a reminder that the place was once an amusement park.
Michael Jackson bought the ranch in 1987 for $19.5 million and transformed it into a Peter-Pan-inspired theme park complete with rides and live circus animals. It even had rollercoasters and Ferris wheels back then.
Colony Capital Exec Talks About Doing Business With Michael Jackson Over Neverland
However, the footage revealed that what’s left of those happy years are train tracks, the floral clock, and the 50-seater theatre that the “Thriller” singer designed. Some artwork and Disney memorabilia have also been taken out.
Still, the Sycamore Valley Ranch retains the majestic four square mile panorama of Mount Catherine, which was named after MJ’s mother.
According to Colony Capital’s Kyle Forsyth, Michael Jackson planned to “take the ranch back to its natural setting,” and sell it afterwards. That might explain the stripped down version of the ranch.
“So we’re just following through with our original vision,” he said.
Promotional Virtual Tour of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch
According to the report, anyone who purchases the ranch can do anything they want with it. However, Forsyth hopes that the estate would still be able to reflect its rich history.
“We still have an affinity for Michael and a deep respect for Michael’s legacy,” he said.
Jackson’s ranch is now listed in the online marketplace Luxify, a website that specializes in buying and selling luxury items.
The privately-owned online company was launched in March, but has grown steadily throughout the year, now boasting about 21,000 active buyers. Luxify now has offices in Singapore and London.
The company’s co-founder, Alexis Zirah, believes that they will most likely be able to sell Neverland to a Chinese buyer, in spite of the estate’s infamy when Michael Jackson was still alive.
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In 2005, Michael Jackson was accused of child molestation while living in Neverland, although he was acquitted soon after.
“We are working online as well as offline to find the right buyer,” Zirah said. “You have to remember that Chinese people are the biggest foreign investors in the US property market.”
According to data from the US National Association of Realtors, Chinese investors have purchased $22 billion worth of residential estate in the United States from March 2014 to March this year.
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Aside from the Michael Jackson property, Luxify is currently offering Michael Jordan’s Chicago mansion, which the former NBA superstar has been trying to sell for years. The 56,000 sq. ft. property is now priced under $15 million, which is reportedly almost half the amount it was first listed for back in 2012.
[Image by Phil Walter, Getty Images]