Tom Petty’s ex-wife has given her family the greatest gift. Jane Benyo Petty, the former wife of the late Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers frontman, has purchased his childhood home in Florida, according to Realtor.com.
The Gainesville, Florida home sold for $175,000 to Petty’s wife of 22 years, who outbid a superfan for the property. Benyo Petty, who has two daughters, Adria and Annakim, with the “American Girl” singer, told the Gainesville Sun she bought the home to keep it in the family amid talk of turning it into a museum by the superfan who was eyeing the property.
The three-bedroom, 1,407-square-foot home was built in 1952 and has been renovated since the Petty family lived there decades ago. But amazingly, the parquet floor and pink tiles remain the same from when the future rock legend lived there in his youth.
“When I went to the house, it had changed and it didn’t look the same, but I thought we should have it in the family” Petty’s ex said.
The house has special meaning to Benyo Petty as well. She met her future husband in the Gainesville neighborhood they both lived in shortly after he graduated high school. The couple married in 1974 and split in 1996.
Petty’s ex-wife revealed that she now has plans to move back to Gainesville after returning to the city for the first time in 15 years for the Tom Petty Birthday Bash last October. Although she’s not sure what she will do with the family home she just purchased, Benyo Petty says a museum will not be happening at the site.
Amid news of the real estate deal, Petty’s daughter Annakim posted an Instagram photo of her mom in which she revealed that she sent her flowers. Fans hit the comments section to thank Benyo Petty for buying Tom’s childhood home.
Gainesville always had a special place in Petty’s heart. As shared by The Inquisitr, the rock legend was honored with a dedication at a Florida park that he frequented as a young boy. Last year, the former Northeast Park in Gainesville was renamed Tom Petty Park in the late rocker’s honor. The park is just one block from Petty’s childhood home.
Petty once told NPR that growing up in the college town of Gainesville enabled him to meet people from all walks of life.
“[Gainesville] is an interesting place because you can meet almost any kind of person from many walks of life because of the university,” Petty said. “But it’s really surrounded by this kind of very rural kind of people that are — you know, they’re farmers or tractor drivers or just all kinds of — game wardens, you name it. So it’s an interesting blend.”