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Michael Jackson may have left Neverland Ranch behind in 2005, four years before his death, but the location still has a special place in the hearts of Jackson fans. Now, one Jackson fan with a lot of money to burn may have a chance to buy it, since the current owners are preparing the property for a sale.
In a statement to Bloomberg this week, Thomas Barrack Jr.’s Colony Capital LLC confirmed that the company has restored the Los Olivos, California property. They have seen the values of high-end homes in the area rise back up and are hoing to cash in.
“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,” Barrack told Bloomberg. “We are now considering putting it up for sale.”
Colony Capital has had control of the property since November 2008, when they bought it for $23.5 million. However, Barrack does not have an asking price ready at the moment. Santa Barbara County did value it at $30.3 million.
The property covers 2,680 acres and is named after the setting in Peter Pan. Jackson bought it in 1988 for $19.5 million and held onto it until 2005 after he was acquitted of child molestation charges. Jackson died in 2009 at age 50.
As previously reported, after Colony Capital began talking to the press about selling, the Jackson estate expressed its disappointment in the decision.
“We hope and trust that any new owners of Neverland will respect the historical importance and special nature of this wonderful property," the estate said. "Michael's memory lives on in the hearts of his fans worldwide."
Billboard notes that whoever does buy it will have a few legal hurdles to jump if they want to turn it into a Graceland-style attraction. Neverland is currently zoned for agriculture, so the owner would have to apply to get it subdivided.
image courtesy of Paul Adao/INFphoto.com