The famed Neverland ranch that was owned by mega entertainer Michael Jackson could become a rehabilitation center for children who have been sexually abused, according to the New York Post.
Jackson owned the sprawling 2,800 acre property for eleven years until shortly before his untimely death back in 2009. The Los Olivos, California estate became a fairytale land of sorts where Jackson resided with the late Bubbles the chimpanzee, exotic animals, a two-story arcade, amusement park rides, a candy shop and private railway.
Jackson left Neverland in 2005 amid sexual molestation charges following a very public trial. Jackson felt that his private sanctuary had been violated by authorities, as they ransacked the estate looking for proof of any sexual deviance involving the pop singer at the home.
By the time 2008 rolled around, Jackson was reportedly deep in debt and the famous Neverland was purchased by the private investment firm, Colony Capital for a reported $23.5 million. The ranch has pretty much remained abandoned since its sale except for an occasional visit from Jackson’s 16-year-old daughter Paris. The young Jackson is said to have planted a Zen garden where the ranch’s famed ferris wheel once stood.
Now valued at about $75 million, the property which is agriculturally zoned already has two potential buyers, who are said to want to turn Neverland into a museum attraction like the famed Elvis Presley home, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. One of the bidders reportedly has a massive Jackson collection of memorabilia, states the Post.
Another potential buyer, who reportedly has a bid in the $40 million range, wants to help sexually abused youth to recover from its devastating effects. According to an unnamed source who spoke to New York Post, the buyer’s “goal is for the place to be used to help children in a serene setting recover from the trauma of sex abuse. The plan is to have children come there for treatment, and they will also hire trained therapists who would help the victims through the use of equine-assisted therapy, which works to improve the kids’ self-esteem, and it helps them to become more outgoing.”
As it now stands, it looks like it will be the highest bidder will determine what Neverland will be.