The late great Michael Jackson made the fantasy of Peter Pan's Neverland into a real place in Los Olivos, California, and Forbes is now reporting that the famously outlandish 2,700-acre property is hitting the market.
Billionaire Tom Barrack's Colony Capital has been Neverland Ranch's managing partner since a 2007 deal with Jackson to take over the affiliated $23 million debt. But the investment firm has poured money into the project ever since — $5 million a year just for upkeep — amounting to an estimated, and wholly untenable, $50 million to date.
Against the wishes of the Jackson estate, Barrack has decided it's time for the King of Pop's iconic home to change hands. An unnamed family representative shared their disappointment with Forbes: "We are frustrated, bitterly disappointed, and saddened that it has come to this... Sadly, Michael lost control of Neverland during his life as a result of advice from a former manager."
If you're thinking, "Why not turn the Ranch into a Graceland-like fan attraction?" you're not the first, but geography (and likely zoning issues) stands in the way — the Ranch is, by design, far from accessible to the public. Plus, the Jackson estate is currently facing down, and appealing, a $702 million IRS bill, so buying Neverland back isn't a likely option.
So, the $50-or-so million question is, who will be the next inhabitant of Neverland Ranch?