Colony Capital and Tom Barrack no longer own Michael Jackson’s former Neverland Ranch.
Ron Burkle — investor, philanthropist and supermarket king — has bought the Sycamore Valley Ranch from Barrack for a reported $22 million.
I like this idea a lot. Burkle was a good friend to Michael, sheltering him and helping with financial problems when he needed it.
Burkle’s aide de camp Frank Quintero tells me:
“This is a land bank of 2700 acres of spectacular land. Ron Burkle is a resident of Montana and has owned approximately 1,000 acres in Oak Glen, California since the 70s. Like that property, this is just a land bank opportunity.”
Quintero continues: “At the time he purchased the Sycamore Valley Ranch property it was not listed and he bought it from the seller directly. Ron was looking at Zaca Lake, which adjoins the property, for a possible Soho House retreat. which he decided was over priced and far too remote. The Sycamore Valley Ranch property adjoins it and when Ron saw the land from the air he called Tom Barrack directly and asked if he’d sell it. ”
During the last 10 years of his life, Michael let Neverland wilt. By the time he died, the property had been through foreclosure. Barrack and Colony Capital came in through Michael’s erstwhile manager, the horrible Tohme Tohme, who worked for Barrack and came to be one of last financial predators of the King of Pop.
Burkle will not be living at Neverland, Quintero says. He remains a full time resident of Montana. Who knows? Maybe he’ll let the Jackson children do something with the ranch. But I have no information on that, it’s just speculation.