It’s expensive to get to a place where dreams are born, time is never planned and your heart flies on wings once you think of happy things.
It may not be Peter Pan’s Neverland, but Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is as close as billionaire Ron Burkle can get after he bought the 2,700-acre California property for $22 million, according to the Wall Street Journal’s three sources and research of public records.
Burkle, a former Jackson associate who managed the King of Pop’s finances in the mid-2000s, might have landed a bargain, considering the original 2015 listing was for $100 million. Even after reductions, it remained at a $31 million asking price last year.
It no longer includes the Ferris wheel, merry-go-round or zoo animals, but it does have a movie theater, a dance studio, a Disney-style train station, a firehouse, a barn – and a controversial history because of a child molestation charge.
The asking price of the Neverland property was $100 million in 2016, and it dropped to $67 million a year later. In addition to a 12,500-square-foot main residence and a 3,700-square-foot pool house, the property boasts a separate building with the 50-seat movie theater and dance studio.
The Los Olivos ranch, 40 miles from Santa Barbara, was co-owned by Jackson and a fund until he defaulted on the loan in 2008. He paid $19.5 million for the ranch in 1987.
Burkle, the grocery store magnate who Forbes estimates is worth $1.5 billion, became interested when he flew over the property and made an offer when it was unlisted. The Wall Street Journal reported that he made the purchase as a land banking investment and plans to never live there.
Never is an awfully long time.