Once called “the most magical place on earth”, Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch was left to rot following the pop stars death. However, the infamous property is currently undergoing restorations to become the once-popular amusement destination.
The ranch was purchased in December 2020, for $30 million AUD ($22 million USD) by billionaire businessman Ron Burkle, who snapped up the property for less than a quarter of its original asking price of $140 million AUD ($100 million USD).
The once home to the King of Pop, dubbed by News.com as a “children’s paradise,” was inspired by J.M. Barrie’s novel Peter Pan. The property included a 12,598-square-foot main residence, two guest houses, a lake, a 50-seat movie theatre, and a Disney-themed train station, amusement park and zoo.
As seen in the exclusive aerial shots from The Daily Mail, the 69-year-old businessman has chosen to stick with the Peter Pan theme by adding slides, swings, spinning teacups, a pirate ship, even giving the infamous floral Neverland clock a facelift.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Burkle, who had first met Jackson after an event for underprivileged children in 2000 and became Jackon’s personal financial adviser shortly after, saw the property as an investment opportunity.
“It was kind of a depressing place. It wasn’t the beautiful place that it was before. It just needed flowers and life in it again,” he said.
Jackson was famously known for throwing multiple parties and even held events at the ranch, including the 14th birthday party for social media mogul Kim Kardashian, who called the ranch “the most magical place on earth.”
The singer famously gave the properly a fairytale feel for his young fans to enjoy, but in 1993, Jackson made headlines when child sexual abuse allegations happening on the Ranch were brought against him.
Jackson would go on and defend himself against the multiple lawsuits over the next decade, resulting in a mountain of debt. By 2008, he faced foreclosure on Neverland Ranch. Jackson was acquitted for all charges in 2005 but vowed never to step foot on the Ranch again.
Jackson lived on the Ranch for over 15 years.