State Assemblyman Mike Davis (D-South Los Angeles) is proposing to turn Michael Jackson's 2,500 acre Neverland Ranch into a state park, according to the Associated Press. Davis said that fans from around the world would visit the Santa Barbra County estate — it once had a zoo and housed amusement park rides — and bring additional tourist dollars to Southern California.
However, given the state government's fiscal crisis, it is uncertain whether or not the California Department of Parks and Recreation could purchase the property, especially since Gov. Schwarzeneggger closed down half of California's 279 parks on certain days and reduced services.
Davis suggested 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,” he said.
Jackson's estate is currently co-owned by Colony Capital LLC, a private equity firm, and the Jackson family. Jackson moved out of the property in 2005 after being acquitted of child molestation. He signed over control of the property in 2008 for $35 million.
According to Davis, he was approached with the idea of turning the late pop star's estate into state property by NAACP president Alice Huffman.