Neverland Ranch undergoing renovations for first time in 15 years

Property was at the center of Michael Jackson’s child abuse allegations

Neverland Ranch with Ron Burkle and Michael Jackson (Getty)
Neverland Ranch with Ron Burkle and Michael Jackson (Getty)

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is getting a facelift.

The 2,700-acre property at 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road that was home to Michael Jackson from 1988 to 2005 now belongs to billionaire Ron Burkle, SFGate reported. Now known as Sycamore Valley Ranch, the property is undergoing renovations.

“Our staff has been out to the site multiple times for about the last four to six months,” Errin Briggs, a supervising planner for Santa Barbara County, told the outlet. “We don’t yet have any permit requests for new structures, but they’ve pulled permits for roofing, existing structures, electrical — pretty minor stuff, but we can confirm work is being done.”

The property was abandoned for years after Jackson, who built a private theme park for celebrities and children, was accused of sexually abusing kids who visited him on the property in November 2003. Some 70 officers from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office searched the main residence in a high-profile raid. Jackson was ultimately found not guilty on all 10 counts.

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Burkle, who served as Jackson’s financial advisor from the mid-2000s until the singer’s death in 2009, is known for buying former homes of the rich and famous, many times for discounted prices, and restoring them for a profit. In 2019, he sold the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis House for $18 million, more than triple the $4.5 million he paid for the property in 2011.

In June 2018, Burkle bought the Toluca Lake estate that was home to Bob and Dolores Hope for $15 million, about half of the $27.5 million it was listed for five years prior.

The 22-structure Neverland Ranch was first listed for $100 million in 2016. Four years later, Burkle got the property for $22 million. In addition to a 12,000-square-foot mansion, the property includes three guesthouses, basketball and tennis courts, a swimming pool, a 50-seat theater and a four-acre lake with a waterfall.

[SFG] — Victoria Pruitt