Plainfield, NJ June 22 — Former Gov. James E. McGreevey and his partner, Mark O’Donnell, are about to purchase a 17-room, $1.4 million home in Plainfield’s historic Sleepy Hollow neighborhood, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deal.
The ivy-covered Georgian Colonial boasts eight bedrooms, five fireplaces and four bathrooms. The neighborhood is home to several local politicians, including former Plainfield Mayor Al McWilliams and Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Union).
McGreevey will live in the 92-year-old home with O’Donnell, a successful Manhattan financier who has been dating the former governor for about a year. The couple is expected to close the deal next week, the sources said.
Green said the neighborhood has been buzzing for several weeks with word that McGreevey would soon be moving in.
Green, who is also the city’s Democratic chairman, has known McGreevey, 48, for decades, in part because Green’s former legislative district was once dominated by towns in Middlesex County, McGreevey’s old power base.
The palatial home, which includes a solarium, a butler’s pantry and in-ground swimming pool, sits on 1.7 acres and was originally built for a founder of the New York Stock Exchange. Its gardens were designed by the firm of noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who created Central Park.
But a person close to the two men said they decided to buy in New Jersey, so the ex-governor could be near his 4-year-old daughter, Jacqueline. She and the governor’s ex-wife, Dina Matos, live in the nearby Union County town of Springfield.
Another daughter lives with McGreevey’s first wife in Canada.
McGreevey and Matos have been separated since leaving the governor’s mansion in November 2004.
McGreevey and O’Donnell have concentrated their search along the train lines into Manhattan and in close proximity to his former wife’s house. Green said another draw of Plainfield may have been the growing gay population, especially in the Sleepy Hollow section.
Staff writers Gabriel Gluck, Josh Margolin and Steve Chambers contributed to this report.