Michael Jackson’s 2,500-acre Neverland Ranch could become a state park, if a California legislator gets his way. California Assemblyman Mike Davis has publicly floated the idea, saying that he may officially submit a bill or resolution on the matter when state politicians reconvene in August. Currently, Neverland Ranch is owned jointly by Jackson’s estate and investment group Colony Capital (currently the frontrunner to acquire Miramax Films). Describing California’s current $19 billion deficit as an “economic shortfall,” Davis acknowledged that “it would be difficult for the State Parks Department to purchase the property alone,” and that he would likely propose a private-public partnership.
As it stands, Neverland isn’t nearly the same as when Jackson was still alive, with most of its amusement park rides and zoo attractions dismantled and sold off last year. In fact, much of Jackson’s tangible legacy—including a life-sized Lego replica of Darth Vader, Johnny Depp’s Edward Scissorhands gloves, and a wax figure of Jackson himself—was auctioned off last year, leaving only the hollow shell of Neverland Ranch as an empty monument to the King of Pop’s career. Nevertheless, Davis argues that turning it into a state park would attract visits from Jackson fans around the world.