Five years ago Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch went on the market for $100 million but couldn’t find a buyer willing to take on the purchase. It changed brokerages a few times, along with massive price reductions going to $67 million, then $31 million, and then being taken off the public market. It recently found a buyer in billionaire Ron Burkle who purchased the 2,700-acre property when he wasn’t even planning to.
You could even say the purchase came out of thin air.
Burkle, a former associate of Jackson’s, was scoping out the adjacent property by plane when he also saw Neverland Ranch from high above, as the Wall Street Journal reported. Once back down on terra firma he called Tom Barrack, founder of the investment management firm Colony Capital that is part owner of the property, to inquire about purchasing the Neverland estate. Burkle proceeded to purchase the property for $22 million and said through a spokesperson the buy is a “a land bank opportunity”. Forbes estimates Burkle’s net worth as $1.4 billion.
During the years the property was on the market very few interior photos were ever released of the main buildings. But you can get an idea of the place from this evocative video showing many of Neverland’s unique features which one of its previous listing agents used in their marketing materials.
For the $22 million price Burkle is scoring a mega-deal. Not only is it large in geographic scope, it comes with about two dozen buildings on the property. There is the famous main residence, a 12,000-square-foot mansion done in a Normandy style, plus a 50-seat movie theater, several animal barns, a 3,700-square-foot pool house, multiple guest houses plus numerous sports facilities such as a tennis and basketball courts. Jackson purchased the property in 1989 for $19.5 million, just a hair under what Burkle has paid for it.
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Here are a few close-up photos of some of the features of the property.
A view of the main house.
Landscaped gardens and water features abound on the land.
Tennis courts are just one of the outdoor recreation activities.
Here’s a look at the climbing tree Jackson was famous for enjoying.