King of pop Michael Jackson’s Neverland estate is being considered for sale, said a spokesman for the company controlling the property, and it is certain that it won’t be sold on the never-never. Modelled after the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, the ranch is expected to garner as much as $60 million, reported the Daily News.
Owen Blicksilver, spokesperson for the investment firm Colony Capital LLC, said the company will make a decision soon as to whether it will place Jackson’s estate near the central Californian coast on the market, Reuters reported. The estate comprises 22 buildings, which include guest houses, apartments and a movie theatre. But its most crucial selling point, which was its fairground, has been replaced by a tranquil ‘Zen garden.’
Jackson, who died in June 2009 at age 50 from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol, had handed over the title on his Neverland ranch in 2008 to Colony Capital, which held his $23 million loan on the property.
At the time of the deal, Colony Capital said the firm had been planning to spruce up the ranch and sell it for an estimated $70 to $80 million or more if Jackson was able to revitalise his career. Jackson’s estate, managed by John McClain and John Branca, stated it is “saddened at the prospect of the sale of Neverland,” and will continue to manage the singer’s family home in Encino, a neighbourhood of Los Angeles.
“We hope and trust that any new owners of Neverland will respect the historical importance and special nature of this wonderful property. Michael’s memory lives on in the hearts of his fans worldwide,” the statement said.
Since his death, Jackson has been featured each year on Forbes’ highest-earning dead celebrities list, with his estate making an estimated $160 million from October 2012 to 2013, the magazine said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2014.
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