Tom Petty's childhood home to be sold and possibly turned into historic site and museum
A man from California is "runnin' down a dream" here in North Central Florida.
Tom Petty's childhood home is up for sale but the homeowner has already signed a contract with a potential buyer.
Kevin Beauchamp is a real estate agent in California who came to Gainesville last year for Tom Petty's birthday bash where he saw the house before it went up for sale. As a Tom Petty "superfan," he said if it ever came up for sale he'd be interested in buying it, which is almost exactly how it happened.
Beauchamp's goal for the purchase is not to live in the home, but to preserve it along with Tom Petty's legacy.
"I've been a fan since my teenage years going back to 76 and I've been a fan ever since. I saw him as many times as I could and I own pretty much anything he's ever released and now both my daughters are big Petty fans. It's just part of the family we live and breathe it."
The idea is to after the home is purchased hand it over to a trust or non-profit such as the Gainesville Music History Foundation to take care of and possibly turn into a type of museum said, Beauchamp.
"Every story that has come out so far has said I own the home, that is not true. We will be looking for donations which will go to a non-profit or into a trust, private trust to purchase the home. I'm never going to own it solely or anything like that if I own it in the trust it's going to be offered to the city or the family."
TV20's Landon Harrar spoke with the homeowner and neighbors who declined to be on camera but offered a few thoughts on the purchase and plans for the home.
"Speaking with the current homeowner who is selling Tom Petty's old childhood home she says on a regular week there about 2-3 people who come by and want to see the home and take pictures. But for Gator home games in football and other large events like the Garth Brooks concert, she says that number rises dramatically. I was able to pop across the street and ask a few other neighbors about what they think of a museum being put here, they said they're not super fond of the idea but they still want more information about what that could look like or what that might mean. In regards to things like parking before they really lodge any formal complaints or protest it."
Although Beauchamp has set up the contract to buy the house he won't be buying it all himself, both he and the president of Gainesville's Music History Foundation said in the coming weeks they'll be setting up a way for fans to donate to the cause so the house can be preserved. The house is expected to sell for around $175,000.