“Neverland Ranch, the Los Olivos, California, property where the late entertainer Michael Jackson lived, may soon get a new owner,” reports Bloomberg.
The story reports, “Thomas Barrack Jr.’s Colony Capital LLC is readying the estate for a sale as high-end home values return to peak levels in the area.” The “California-based firm took control of the property after buying a $23.5 million note on it in November 2008, when Jackson faced mounting debts and the real estate market was in free fall.”
Jackson himself “moved out [of Neverland] in 2005 after being acquitted of sexual molestation charges,” adds the Business Insider.
“Real estate values in California are surging,” says Bloomberg. “The number of homes in the state selling for more than $2 million set a record in the second quarter, while sales of residences for at least $1 million were the highest since 2007, property-information service CoreLogic DataQuick reported [yesterday, July 31, 2014].”
One local Santa Barbara-area realtor told Bloomberg that Neverland is “worth $35 million to $50 million, depending on what they do with it. Barrack has cleaned it up and returned it to perfect condition. It had been neglected.”
Other estimates reportedly place the potential sale price as high as $85 million.
Michael Jackson’s estate emailed Bloomberg a statement that it is “saddened at the prospect of the sale of Neverland which, under the agreement negotiated during Michael’s lifetime, Colony has the right to sell. We hope and trust that any new owners of Neverland will respect the historical importance and special nature of this wonderful property.”