Jackson's Neverland on sale for £65m

But the fairground and zoo have gone...

MIchael Jackson Neverland
Neverland, Former Home of Michael Jackson, on Sale for $100M

The Neverland Ranch in California, once the home of Michael Jackson, is up for sale - minus the singer's amusement park and zoo.

Built in 1981, the 2,700-acre property in Santa Ynez Valley is being listed at $100 million (£65m). And while the notorious funfair and zoo have now gone, it still features a railway station and 50-seat movie theatre along with the 12,000-square-foot, six-bedroom house.

There's a swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts, as well as two guest houses, one with four bedrooms and the other with two. The grounds include two lakes, complete with swans - although the singer's elephant and chimpanzee Bubbles are long gone.

Michael Jackson Neverland

Jackson paid $19.5 million dollars for the property in 1988 and renamed it Neverland, after the island in Peter Pan where children never grow up. He hired more than 50 staff to look after the estate, which is believed to have cost as much as $3 million a year to run.

But during his legal difficulties in 2005, Jackson moved out, and later defaulted on a $24.5 million loan raised on the property. The ranch was bought by estate investment firm Colony Capital in 2008.

Since then, Colony is reported to have spent millions improving the property, and has now returned it to its original name of Sycamore Valley Ranch.

Michael Jackson Neverland

Spokespeople from Jackson's estate say they are disappointed by the sale.

"We are saddened at the prospect of the sale of Neverland which, under the agreement negotiated during Michael's lifetime, Colony has the right to sell," they commented in a statement.

"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."

But if you fancy spending Sunday afternoon window-shopping the property, you're in for a disappointment. Agents Sotheby's International Realty and Hilton & Hyland are keeping the sale very low-key, and say they will be conducting 'pre-qualification' investigations on prospective buyers.

"Our seller is not encouraging a lot of showings," Jeffrey Hyland of Hilton & Hyland told the Wall Street Journal. "We're not going to be giving tours."

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