- Michael Jackson's famed Neverland Ranch has finally sold to billionaire Ron Burkle for $22 million after more than five years on and off the market, Katherine Clarke reported for the Wall Street Journal.
- Burkle, co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and owner of members-only club Soho House, paid $22 million for the property after spotting it from the air and calling the owner directly, per the Journal.
- Jackson's former home was rebranded as Sycamore Valley Ranch and listed for $100 million in 2015, but it languished on the market for more than five years even after multiple price cuts.
- The ranch includes a 12,598-square-foot main residence, two guest houses, a lake, a 50-seat movie theater, and a Disney-themed train station.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
After more than five years and multiple price cuts, Michael Jackson's famed Neverland Ranch finally sold - for less than a quarter of its original asking price, Katherine Clarke reported for The Wall Street Journal.
The estate now belongs to Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle, the managing partner of private investment firm The Yucaipa Companies. Burkle, who's worth $2 billion and also owns members-only club Soho House, paid $22 million for the ranch, which he saw as a "land bank opportunity," his spokesperson told the Journal.
After hitting the market for $100 million in 2015 under the moniker Sycamore Valley Ranch, the California ranch was discounted to $67 million in 2017 and then relisted again in 2019 for $31 million. In February 2020, Compass confirmed to Business Insider that it had been pulled off the market. But according to the Journal, Burkle called the owner directly after seeing the ranch from the air.
Real-estate investment firm Colony Capital has co-owned the ranch since 2008, when Jackson defaulted on a loan after financial hardships and entered into an ownership agreement with the firm for $23 million. The late singer bought the ranch in 1987 for $19.5 million and lived there for more than 15 years.
The 2,700-acre property in Los Olivos includes a French-Normandy style main residence, two guest houses, a lake, a 50-seat movie theater, a 14-foot lagoon-style pool, a dance studio, barns, staff facilities, and a Disney-themed train station.
The ranch featured prominently in "Leaving Neverland," a 2019 documentary about multiple accusations of child sexual abuse by Jackson.
Take a look inside the Sycamore Valley Ranch.
April Walloga and Alyson Penn contributed to an earlier version of this story.
After years of price cuts, the ranch finally sold to billionaire Ron Burkle in December 2020 for $22 million — a fraction of its original $100 million asking price, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Burkle, who advised the singer on financial matters in the mid-2000s, saw the property as an investment opportunity, per the Journal. While the ranch wasn't publicly listed for months, Burkle reportedly saw the property from the air and called the owner directly to ask if he would sell it.
The ranch was last publicly listed for $31 million in 2019 — a nearly 70% discount from its original asking price.
Kyle Forsyth of Compass, one of the former listing agents for the ranch, told Business Insider in February 2020 that the agents representing the ranch had found interested potential buyers. But no deal could be reached with Colony Capital, so the ranch was pulled off the market, Forsyth said.
Colony Capital, the private investment firm that manages the ranch, did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment for this story.The Sycamore Valley Ranch spans 2,700 acres in Los Olivos, California, about 130 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchUnder Jackson's ownership, Neverland Ranch was a Peter-Pan inspired fantasyland with an amusement park, exotic animals ...
Source: CBS News... and a Disney-themed train station.
Jackson famously threw parties and held events at the ranch, including a 14th birthday party for Kim Kardashian, who called the ranch "the most magical place on earth."But in 1993, Jackson and his home made headlines when child sexual abuse allegations were brought against him.
He would go on to defend himself against additional lawsuits over the next decade, which contributed to his mounting debt. By 2008, he faced foreclosure on Neverland Ranch.After he defaulted on a loan, Jackson entered Neverland into an ownership agreement with private investment firm Colony Capital for $23 million in 2008.
Source: ABC NewsColony Capital spent millions restoring the ranch after Jackson's death in 2009.
Source: ABC NewsNeverland Ranch was rebranded Sycamore Valley Ranch and put on the market for $100 million in 2015.
Source: ABC NewsIt was renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch for the rolling hills, majestic sycamore trees, magnificent oaks, and manicured grounds that the Santa Ynez Valley is known for.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThere are several possible reasons why Sycamore Valley Ranch had trouble selling.
Most obvious, of course, is the property's well-publicized connection with Jackson.
"It was priced where it was in the beginning to capture a celebrity trophy buyer, someone that was willing to pay the extra money because it was Michael Jackson's," real estate expert Michael Corbett, the host of Extra's "Mansions and Millionaires," told Yahoo Entertainment. "Unfortunately now, since there's been a lot of negative press, someone is probably not going to purchase it for that reason ... Now someone's going to buy it because it's an amazing piece of real estate."
The property's location could also be unappealing to some buyers. According to Zillow real estate expert Brendon DeSimone, the property sits about 130 miles northeast of Los Angeles and five miles from Los Olivos, which is outside of the majority of the area's highest-end homes.Village Properties real-estate broker Wayne S. Natale told Bloomberg that it's typical for properties listed for more than $3 million in Santa Ynez Valley to be on the market for two to three years.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThe property boasts a 12,598-square-foot French-Normandy style residence with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThe mansion is crafted with exposed timber beams, brick and stonework, five fireplaces, and 18th-century French oak parquet flooring from two chateaus in France.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchEntering through the front doors brings you inside to the spacious main foyer. The door to the right connects to the kitchen.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchLarge golden chandeliers hang over the lofted main entryway.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchDown a few sets of stairs from the foyer is the main living room with two fireplaces.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchWalking back through the main foyer under an arched doorway brings you to the newly renovated kitchen.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThough the main house is unoccupied, a full-time staff keeps the kitchen pristine.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchSycamore Valley Ranch has a guest house about 150 feet from the main house.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchWalking through the kitchen to the main dining room, you'll find more wall-length windows that offer a view of the backyard.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchA hallway lined with windows connects you from the dining room to other rooms on the first floor.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThere are eight bathrooms in the main residence. This one features a copper bathtub.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchDown the hallway is the first-floor master bedroom where the King of Pop slept. The master includes a private loft and two baths, two walk-in cedar-lined closets, and a private outdoor garden.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchA massive walk-in closet connects you to the master bedroom and bathroom. Jackson stored valuables in a "secret room" hidden around the corner in his closet, according to the Associated Press.
Source: Associated PressThe master bathroom sports a sunken bathtub and is surrounded by large windows.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchExiting the master bedroom will bring you back to the hallway. Continue down the hallway back to the foyer and you'll find a staircase.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchMoving up the stairs to the second floor, you'll find four bedrooms. Here is an upstairs bedroom with polished oak flooring.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchWalking down a hallway will lead you to another bedroom with white carpeting and walls lined with shelves.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchComing back down the stairs to the first floor, you'll see doors across the main entryway that lead out to the ranch grounds.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThe property's grounds include two guest houses, a lake, a 50-seat movie theater, a tennis court, a lagoon-style pool, a pool house, barns, and separate staff facilities.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchNext to the pool house is a sunken, lighted tennis court with a viewing area.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThe grounds of the property are extensively manicured ...
Source: Sycamore Valley Ranch... full of stonework and colorful flower beds.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThe property features a four-acre lake with two fountains, swans, boat stops, and a private beach.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchWhimsical statues can be seen around the grounds.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchA gazebo complete with lighting and a grill offers a space for outdoor entertaining.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchAlthough Sycamore Valley Ranch no longer has exotic animals like elephants, you can still find pigs, lambs, and a llama on the property.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThe ranch's large red barn was built originally for Clydesdales.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchNeverland Ranch used to include an amusement park. But Colony Capital removed the rides and turned the area into a "zen garden" when it purchased the ranch in 2008.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchThe owners did decide to keep Jackson's famous Neverland train station during renovations.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchTrain tracks weave all around the property ...
Source: Sycamore Valley Ranch... along with train stops.
Source: Sycamore Valley RanchChildren and adults both used to ride in the train when Jackson threw parties, like during this holiday celebration in 2004.
Jackson lived on the ranch for more than 15 years.