The ranch owned by late pop sensation Michael Jackson, located right outside of Santa Barbara, is listed for $100 million. Formerly know as Neverland Ranch, it is listed by Suzanne Perkins and Harry Kolb of Sotheby’s International Realty and Jeffrey Hyland of Hilton & Hyland, now called “Sycamore Valley Ranch.”
The property sits on 2,700 acres and has a total of 22 structures on it with the main house sitting in between two lakes. The house is a Normandy-style home with six bedrooms and an attached staff quarters. There is also a four-bedroom guest house located next to the main home and another two-bedroom guest home located just beyond that one. The main building also features a swimming pool with a cabana, a basketball and tennis court, a 50-seat movie theater and a barbecue area outside.
Jackson paid $19.5 million for the entire ranch property in 1987, living there for more than 15 years until his death in 2009. Most of the upgrades and “Jackson-esque” features are gone, including the amusement park rides, orangutans and elephant. The iconic floral clock that has the words “Neverland” spelled out above it outside the train station still remains intact, along with the railroad tracks and station, the Neverland Valley Fire Building (though not staffed) and a llama that still roams the property.
Back in the 1990s, Jackson opened his home and entire ranch up to underprivileged and terminally ill children and their families to enjoy the amusement park and property. There were times when Jackson had guests at his home and he wasn’t even there. The Neverland Ranch then became the focal point of the media during the early 2000s when it became the site of alleged molestations.
The property was later extensively searched in connection with the People v. Jackson trial after he was charged with multiple counts of molesting a minor in 2003. While Jackson pleaded guilty throughout it all, amid the media and negative light on the ranch he eventually closed the facilities in 2006, stating he no longer lived there.
Jackson also struggled through the years in financing the property, where in October 2007 it was reported that a foreclosure proceeding was to start on the Neverland Ranch. But Jackson defaulted on a $24.5 million loan that was backing the ranch, which was eventually refinanced for $23 million by Colony Capital in 2008. Jackson remained the majority stake holder with legal retention of 87.5 percent of the rent.
After his death, there were reports in 2010 that his children wanted to buy the property and in 2013 pop singer Lady Gaga said she wanted to help Jackson’s children keep the ranch by investing in the property.
Paris, Jackson’s daughter, decided to acquire and restore the property, which included replacing the amusement rides with a meditative zen garden with a section decorated with Peter Pan. The amusement rides are now featured attractions at the California State Fair.
The listing agents say that they will be doing extensive pre-qualification process for potential buyers before even considering showing the property — making sure that its a showing to someone who is genuinely interested and not just giving a tour.