Sources: Wall Street Journal – By Candace Taylor | All Things Michael
The California ranch once known as Neverland and owned by late pop star Michael Jackson is going on the market for $100 million.
The Los Olivos property, about 40 miles from Santa Barbara, is now called “Sycamore Valley Ranch,” said Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International Realty, who shares the listing with Harry Kolb of Sotheby’s and Jeffrey Hyland of Hilton & Hyland. The amusement park rides are gone, the agents said, as are the orangutans and elephant, though there is currently a llama on the property. The iconic floral clock, which spells out “Neverland,” is still there, and so is the building that once housed the Neverland Valley Fire Department, although it’s no longer staffed by full-time firefighters. But the railroad tracks and train station created at Mr. Jackson’s behest are still there.
The property spans about 2,700 acres and has about 22 structures on it, Ms. Perkins said. The Normandy-style main house, which sits between the property’s two lakes, measures about 12,000 square feet, with six bedrooms plus an attached staff quarters. There’s a four-bedroom guesthouse near the main home and a two-bedroom guesthouse a little farther away. There’s also a swimming pool with a cabana, a barbecue area, basketball court and a tennis court. A 50-seat movie theater has a private viewing balcony, and a stage includes trap doors for magic shows.
Mr. Jackson paid $19.5 million for the ranch in 1987 and lived there more than 15 years. Amid financial struggles, he defaulted on a $24.5 million loan backed by the ranch. Real-estate investment firm Colony Capital bought the note in 2008 for $23 million and put the title into a joint venture it formed with the pop star. Colony spent millions on upgrades, intending to eventually sell it.
Acknowledging Mr. Jackson’s many enthusiastic fans, the listing agents warned they will be doing “extensive prequalification” of potential buyers before showing the property. “Our seller is not encouraging a lot of showings,” Mr. Hyland said. “We’re not going to be giving tours,” Ms. Perkins added.
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