Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos has been sold to billionaire businessman Ron Burkle.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday morning that the 2,700-acre property was sold for $22 million to Mr. Burkle, who was an associate of the late pop star and cofounder of the investment firm Yucaipa Companies. A spokesman for Mr. Burkle said he views the property as a “land banking opportunity,” the Associated Press reported.
In 2016, the asking price of the property was $100 million. It dropped to $67 million a year later.
Included in the property is a 12,500 square-foot main residence, a 3,700 square-foot pool house, as well as a separate building with a 50-seat movie theater and dance studio. The ranch also features a “Disney-style” train station, a fire house and barn.
Mr. Burkle’s spokesman told the AP that the billionaire had been eyeing Zaca Lake — which adjoins the property — for a new Soho House, a members-only club with locations in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Toronto. Mr. Burkle ultimately decided the location was too remote and expensive for a club.
Mr. Burkle is the controlling shareholder of Soho House. He reportedly viewed the property from the air before putting in an offer to purchase the ranch. He contacted Tom Barrack, the founder of real estate investment company Colony Capital LLC, to seal the sale. The ranch was off the market at the time.
The sale occurred more than 10 years after the death of Mr. Jackson, who abandoned the property following his trial on charges of molesting a young boy there. He was later acquitted on all charges.
The estate was renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch several years ago.
Mr. Jackson, who died from an overdose of the anesthetic Propofol in 2009 at age 50, bought the property in 1988 for $19.5 million. After financial troubles, in 2008 he handed over the title to Colony Capital LLC, which held a loan on the property.
Neverland, a name taken from the “Peter Pan” tale of a boy who refused to grow up, became Mr. Jackson’s favorite retreat.