Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch to Become a State Park?
One ambitious California legislator is pushing an agenda to have Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch transformed into a state park.
On Tuesday, assemblyman Mike Davis explained that it might be beneficial for the California Department of Parks and Recreation to consider revamping the late King of Pop's Santa Barbara estate into public property. Davis insists that the 2,500-acre estate -- which once housed a zoo and amusement park rides -- would be a major attraction for Jackson fans worldwide.
Before Davis can introduce a formal bill for the project, there will he heavy consideration given to California's current $19 billion budget deficit, which triggered Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to propose closing 220 state parks in 2009. The lawmaker explained that he would likely pitch the project be a public-private partnership. "Given that we have an economic shortfall ... I suspect it would be difficult for the State Parks Department to purchase the property alone," Davis said.
Davis has revealed that several officials, including NAACP president Alice Huffman approached him with the idea of turning Neverland into a state park. The estate is currently co-owned by the Jackson family and Colony Capital LLC, a Santa Barbara-based company which gained control of the land in 2008 for $35 million.