By Robert Stitt
During the time that Jackson owned the ranch, he added numerous upgrades including a giant Normandy-style main mansion and 21 other structures such as guest cottages, a lake, zoo, and an amusement park.
After Jackson’s death in 2009, the ranch came under the control of Jackson’s estate and Colony Capitol LLC who has sold off several thematic pieces such as the zoo and amusement park equipment. They are currently trying to sell the property Jackson paid $19.5 million for to acquire for $100 million under the name ‘Sycamore Valley Ranch” but have not had any interested buyers to date.
In order to increase the chances of a successful sale, the estate has joined forces with Luxify, a luxury Hong Kong marketplace. The thought is that China has a lot of millionaire and billionaire investors and collectors who might want this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of true Americana.
The Daily Mail reports that the co-founder of Luxify, Alexis Zirah, noted, “Chinese wealthy individuals are looking to invest abroad for financial and immigration reasons and the Michael Jackson aspect has quite a big resonance in China.”
Most of the marks of “Michael Jackson” have been erased and Neverland is much less of a theme park and much more of a grand estate. While there may not be a zoo and amusement rides, the Daily Mail notes that there is a massive pool with cabana, a basketball court, tennis court, and “a 50-seat movie theater with a ‘private viewing balcony’ and a stage that includes trap doors for magic shows.”
In a time when many big stars are selling off their mansions and opting for smaller residences, the chance of a foreign investor buying another huge chunk of California seems likely. It is risky buy at the moment given the fire and water crisis in the area, but savvy investors will just hold out for a much better price as the economic conditions in California continue to deteriorate.
Those thinking about making the purchase need to remember that the upkeep takes 54 full-time paid staff and as much as $3 million annually.