Nearly two years after it first went up for sale, the California ranch that served as the late pop star Michael Jackson’s “Neverland” retreat is returning to market for $67 million—$33 million off its original asking price.
Located in Los Olivos, in the Santa Ynez Valley about 40 miles from Santa Barbara, the property was taken off the market in the summer of 2016, according to Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Previews International, who now has the listing. The local market has topped out at around $40 million so far, Ms. Rey said. “This price is more in line with values in the area,” she added.
Mr. Jackson paid $19.5 million for the ranch in 1987 and lived there for more than 15 years, making headlines for adding unusual features like amusement park rides and a train station. Amid financial struggles, he defaulted on a $24.5 million loan backed by the ranch. Colony Capital bought the note in 2008 for $23 million and put the title into a joint venture it formed with the pop star.
Colony merged with NorthStar Asset Management Group and NorthStar Realty Finance in early 2017. The company has spent millions on upgrades and maintenance since 2008, intending to eventually sell it, and the property is in move-in condition, Ms. Rey said.
Now called “Sycamore Valley Ranch,” the property spans about 2,700 acres and has roughly 22 structures on it. The Normandy-style main house measures about 12,600 square feet, with five bedrooms plus a staff annex. There is also four-bedroom guesthouse and two staff houses. Another building contains a 50-seat movie theater and a dance studio.
A number of Mr. Jackson’s additions remain, such as the railroad tracks and train station, although there is no train, Ms. Rey said. The property also still has a floral clock which spells out “Neverland,” as well as the building that once housed the Neverland Valley Fire Department. The amusement park rides are gone, as are many of Mr. Jackson’s exotic animals, but some animals remain on the property, including swans and a llama.
The property consists of three parcels, so more houses could be built on it if a buyer wishes, Ms. Rey said. She also noted that about 50 acres of vineyards could be planted on the property.
When the property went on the market in 2015, the listing agents were Suzanne Perkins and Harry Kolb of Sotheby’s International Realty and Jeffrey Hyland of Hilton & Hyland. Ms. Perkins said $100 million “was a difficult number to achieve,” especially last year when “the market was not as robust as it could have been.”
At the time, Colony wasn’t open to lowering the price, Ms. Perkins said, adding: “I wish we had been given the opportunity to try to market it at $67 million.”
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