The much-sullied home of the King of Pop is up for sale.
The Neverland Valley Ranch in Los Olivos in southern California, sprawled over more than 1,000 hectares, could be valued at about US$30.3 million as assessed by the local government.
Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, lived and visited there with his chimpanzee, Bubbles, until 2003. A year before his death, the investment firm Colony Capital took control of the estate with a $23.5m note as debts against Jackson piled up.
Thomas Barrack, Colony Capital’s chief executive, is ready to put the property back into the market, Bloomberg reported last month.
The asking price was not given.
The King of Pop had put it on the market for $50m in 2002, according to Forbes.
Jackson died at the age of 50 from a drug overdose as he prepared for a world tour that was supposed to mark his comeback to the music scene.
“We’ve really just been custodians of an irreplaceable estate and are proud to say we’ve restored it to the original elegance Michael first envisioned,” Mr Barrack was quoted in the report.
Jackson bought the ranch in 1988, and turned it into an amusement park with rides, a zoo, several fountains, statues of children at play and a movie theatre. In 2003, police searched the property for evidence of alleged child molestation on its premises. Jackson was acquitted in 2005.
The estate includes a 13,000 square foot main house with extensive wood floors, panelling and banisters, according to a photo gallery on Time magazine's website. It also notes that the interior of the place has not changed much since Jackson bought it in 1988.
Pictures show a secret room accessed through a walk-in closet with three bolts. Jackson used the room to store valuables, the magazine notes.
The mansion, built along Tudor lines, also had two railways as part of the surrounding amusement park.
The place fell into disrepair following the molestation charges, but Colony Capital has since renovated it, according to media reports.
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