Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch reportedly sells for $22m

Photo: Mark J Terrill / AP
Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch was reportedly sold to billionaire Ron Burkle for $ 22 million, less than a quarter of its original price of $ 100 million. In one deal, an LA real estate agent was labeled a "bargain".
The Los Olivos, California property was the home of the late pop star from 1987, when he was at the height of his fame, to his death in June 2009. He died of a drug overdose at another home in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Of the two Jackson properties, Neverland was far better known on 2,698 acres of land. In the 1990s, Santa Barbara District attorneys raided the ranch, labeling it as a fantasy world that Jackson built to lure boys onto the property to molest them. Jackson was acquitted in this case.
The ranch also had an additional amusement park, a train ride, and a zoo that was home to orangutans and an elephant named Gypsy, who was given to the singer-songwriter by Elizabeth Taylor in 1991. Neverland was launched in 2015 for $ 100 million.
Jackson's ranch was eventually bought by Burkle, a former employee of the late pop star and co-founder of investment firm Yucaipa Companies, after it was relisted for $ 31 million earlier that year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
At the time of sale, it was jointly owned by Jackson's estate with a fund managed by Colony Capital, a real estate mutual fund. Jackson originally paid $ 19.5 million for the ranch, but defaulted on a property-backed loan and was put into a joint venture with the trust.
LA real estate agent Ian Reed told the Guardian that despite the property's "creepy past" and the fact that the ranch, built in 1982, has dated interiors, the price could be considered a bargain.
"It may be like a haunted house, but the buyer just got a deal - a bargain," Reed said.
The buyer advised Jackson on business affairs a few years before his death as the pop star worked to get out of financial trouble. He is known to have several homes in the area, including the Ennis House in Los Angeles designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and a John Lautner House in Palm Springs that was designed and built for Bob and Dolores Hope.
According to the listing, Sycamore Valley Ranch, also known as NeverLand, consists of a 12,000 square meter mansion in the style of French Normandy and is “the ultimate ranch retreat ... nestled between landscaped gardens and a 4 acre lake with incredible pastoral views South and majestic views of the mountains to the north. "
The property includes "an extensive covered outdoor BBQ area perfect for entertaining and is adjacent to the pool, pool house and tennis court." There are also three separate guest houses on the property, a 500 square meter movie theater with a stage, barns, animal shelter facilities, stables and a maintenance shop.
At one time, Jackson installed a flower clock outside the gates of the property that read "Neverland," a name derived from Peter Barries, of course, Peter Pan. After Jackson's death, the property was renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch and the rides dismantled.
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Ronald Burkle

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