Amid the deluge of publicity and white-hot controversy that surrounds the release of the explosive documentary “Leaving Neverland,” Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in California’s scenic Santa Ynez Valley has popped back up for sale at $31 million. The asking price for the 2,700-acre spread, which has been renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch, is gasp-worthy by any fiscal standard, but it’s remarkably less than half the $67 million price the property was listed at in 2017 and a staggering 69% below the pie-in-the-sky $100 million ask it was originally saddled with in 2015.
Secluded among rolling, sycamore-covered hills about 40 miles outside of Santa Barbara and five miles from the center of the wine-centric town of Los Olivos, the property was purchased by the famously reclusive pop star in 1987 for $19.5 million. Prior to his 2009 death, Jackson secured a loan using the ranch as collateral, and when he defaulted, the note was purchased by a real estate investment fund managed by Colony Capital, which now owns the place in a joint venture with the Jackson estate.
In addition to a stately six-bedroom, faux-timbered French Normandy-style main house of about 12,500 square feet, surrounded by a manicured refuge of flowering gardens, vast lawns and a four-acre lake, the super-sized compound comprises three guesthouses plus a spacious entertainment pavilion between a lagoon-style swimming pool and a lighted tennis court. Jackson’s private amusement park, replete with Ferris wheel and carnival games, has been removed, but the professional-quality movie theater and the Disney-esque train depot Jackson built atop a floral clock that spelled out “Neverland” remain.
The illustrious ranch property is represented by Compass agents Suzanne Perkins and Kyle Forsyth, the former of whom says, “Having sold many of the largest ranches on the south coast in Santa Barbara County, I can easily say without hesitation that this is one of the more spectacular ranches in so many different ways.”