Michael Jackson's 'Neverland' back on market for $31 million

By Megan Cerullo

/ MoneyWatch

The former residence of late pop star Michael Jackson — better known as the "Neverland" ranch — is on the market for a cool $31 million, down from its original asking price of $100 million in 2015, when the famous property was first listed.

Compass real estate agents Suzanne Perkins and Kyle Forsyth share the listing on the Los Olivos property, now called the "Sycamore Valley Ranch."

Despite the rebranding, the iconic property retains many of its hallmarks, including a floral clock that spells out "Neverland." A description of the 2,700-acre ranch includes a four-acre lake with a waterfall, a sunken tennis court, swimming pool, movie theater, barns and animal shelter facilities.

Forsyth said the property, owned by a joint venture between real estate investment firm Colony Capital and Michael Jackson's estate, has been relisted now because "the timing is right for new stewardship."

"Leaving Neverland" director Dan Reed defends explosive Michael Jackson documentary

It was taken off the market in 2017, after Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker briefly took over the listing, according to The Wall Street Journal. It has now returned to its original listing agents.

The property is well maintained, according to Forsyth. The dramatic price drop is in part owed to years of drought, and other natural disasters that have plagued Santa Barbara County — and dampened the property's value, Forsyth said.

Now is the right time to sell, "with the drought ending and the Santa Ynez Valley in full bloom," Forsyth said.

HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland," about two men who claim they were sexually abused by Jackson, will premiere this weekend, and is sure to draw attention to the multi-million dollar listing.

The Jackson family has denounced his accusers, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, as "opportunists" and "admitted liars." His estate sued HBO last week for what it called a "one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself."

Michael Jackson's family defends pop icon as "kid at heart" amid abuse claims

Jackson's nephew Taj Jackson defended his uncle in a CBS This Morning interview, calling him naive and saying his behavior around young boys wasn't odd.

"I think to the outside world, yes it can be odd. I'm not oblivious to what it sounds like. But when you're actually there, in that atmosphere and you're around it and watching movies with his kids, it's very innocent," he said.

The filmmaker, Dan Reed, explained why he didn't seek comment from the Jackson family, telling CBS This Morning's Gayle King the film was about "two little boys to whom this dreadful thing happened long ago. It's the story of their coming to terms with that over two decades and the story of their families."

The nearly 12,600-square-foot French Normandy style residence was built in 1982 Jim Bartsch
svr-10-jimbartsch-pool-poolhouse.jpg
The sprawling compound features a pool and poolhouse, among other amenities Jim Bartsch
svr-05-jimbartsch-front-ext-lake.jpg
The 2,700-acre property features a lake and waterfall. Listing agent Kyle Forsyth describe's the property as a "naturalist's paradise" Jim Bartsch
svr-07-jimbartsch-front-ext-twilight.jpg
The home's exterior at dusk Jim Bartsch
svr-03-jimbartsch-rear-gardens-b-03-16-16.jpg
The property's rear gardens boast stellar views of the Santa Ynez Valley Jim Bartsch
svr-11-jimbartsch-tennis-ct-new.jpg
A sunken tennis court is among the home's features Jim Bartsch
svr-25-jimbartsch-petting-zoo.jpg
The property has its own petting zoo, and corrals for animals Jim Bartsch

First published on February 27, 2019 / 12:50 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

svr-04-jimbartsch-trainstation-03-16-16.jpg svr-10-jimbartsch-pool-poolhouse.jpg svr-05-jimbartsch-front-ext-lake.jpg svr-07-jimbartsch-front-ext-twilight.jpg svr-03-jimbartsch-rear-gardens-b-03-16-16.jpg svr-11-jimbartsch-tennis-ct-new.jpg svr-25-jimbartsch-petting-zoo.jpg

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