The large 2,700-acre property near Los Olivos, California, the Neverland Ranch, where Michael Jackson lived for 20 years, has found a new owner. Businessman Ron Burkle. The billionaire and former associate of the King of Pop and co-founder of the investment firm Yucaipa Companies, was awarded the Ranch for $ 22 million. The initial asking price was $ 100 million in 2016, then dropped to $ 67 million the following year. For now, Burkle’s intentions relating to changes to the property and its use are not yet known. For now, it seems difficult that Neverland will be transformed into a museum as it did for Elvis Presley’s house in Graceland.
Located 160 kilometers from Los Angeles, Neverland Valley Ranch was Michael Jackson’s home for nearly twenty years. He was the owner from 1987 to 2009, the year of his death. It was Paul McCartney who showed the house to the King of Pop in 1982 during the filming of Say, Say, Say. Five years later, in 1987 Jackson decided to buy it for $ 19.5 million from wealthy real estate developer William Bone. A real bargain for the singer considering that the initial figure was almost double. Jackson renamed the ranch with the name of Neverland in reference to the Neverland, the fictional place that hosts the adventures of the Peter Pan character.
The property is made up of 22 structures and a land of almost 1,330 hectares containing a 12,000 m2 villa with 6 bedrooms and 30 medical beds where children with serious illnesses could receive treatment. There was also a zoo, a playground with a Ferris wheel, a Disney-style train station, a swimming pool, a tennis and basketball court, and two artificial lakes. There is also a cinema with 50 seats equipped with a counter with candies and snacks of various kinds.
Neverland was a place out of time and traffic in Los Angeles, which welcomed sick children and their families, giving moments of joy and fun. Michale Jackson’s favorite place was a tree house that only he had access to. There at the highest point of the Ranch, the singer composed most of Dangerous. It is considered one of his most innovative and avant-garde albums, which took him three years of work. The last time Jackson was seen at Neverland was in 2005, the year in which the trial for alleged sexual harassment of minors was held.