If you have a spare US$100 million, you can buy Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, which was listed for sale on 29th May.
The 1,100 hectare estate in Los Olivos – 40 miles from Santa Barbara, California – has now been renamed the Sycamore Valley Ranch and is being sold jointly by Sotheby’s and Hilton & Hyland. Gone are the bespoke train station and the amusement park that were famously part of the ranch during Jackson’s ownership, but the property still features impressive gardens including the famous floral clock, six bedroom mansion with staff accommodation, two guest houses, swimming pool, basketball court, tennis court and movie theater. Despite Jackson’s zoo also being removed, a lone llama still lives on the property.
Jackson bought the property in 1987 for US$19.5 million and lived there from 1988 until 2005. A self-created playground to give him the childhood he claimed he never had, the estate should have been a happy place for Jackson and his three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket. However, accusations of child molestation at the ranch and a resultant court case in 2005 made Jackson disinclined to live there any longer. The King of Pop died four years later from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol at age of 50.
The current estate agents have renamed the ranch in order to remove the stigma of Neverland’s history, and have noted that the property is available to serious buyers only. They will be carefully vetting any potential buyers before allowing site tours in an effort to dissuade fans and macabre sightseers.