KEY POINTS

  • Rosie O’Donnell’s Saddle River, New Jersey, mansion was sold at a loss after being on the market for years
  • The new owners are transforming the 5-acre property into affordable housing
  • Residents of the opulent community are not pleased with the new owners’ plan, a report says

Rosie O’Donnell’s 5-acre property in New Jersey is being demolished years after the comedian and television personality listed it on the market.

Nearly six years ago, O'Donnell, 59, put her Saddle River mansion up for sale for a whopping $7 million after spending $6.4 million to buy it in 2013.

The English country manor-style property remained listed for years, with its asking price being lowered gradually as time passed by. In 2016, it was lowered to $6.5 million and then to a flat $6 million in 2018. This is in spite of the renovations and expansions made on the mansion, as per Realtor.com.

Last year, the asking price dropped to $5,995,000, but even when it was already 6% less than the amount O’Donnell paid for it, it still failed to find a buyer. However, on March 17, the house was finally sold for $5.3 million — recording a $1 million loss for the actress.

Aside from the financial loss, New York Post has learned that the once luxurious property is being demolished by its new owners to be transformed into a set of affordable housing, which is causing a commotion among the residents of the opulent neighborhood.

Saddle River is home to many rich and famous personalities such as Mary J.Blige and Ja Rule, and according to an unnamed source who spoke with the Post, many of the residents of the upscale community are not pleased with the plan that was brought up with the Fair Share Housing Center. 

With the intervention of Saddle River Investors, the borough is planning to transform O’Donnell’s former six-bedroom, nine-bathroom home into a 60-unit housing complex in compliance with the affordable housing requirements in the suburb.

Interestingly, it was found out that only 20% of the transformed property will be used for affordable housing. The source said only eight units are intended for low- and moderate-income residents, and they will all be placed in the back corner of the property.

“It’s a very complex issue. Fair Share Housing decided to make Saddle River its example,” an unnamed resident said. “It makes no sense and it’s creating a further divide between the wealthiest and the non [wealthiest].”

O’Donnell, who is currently busy filming the new season of “The L Word” reboot, did not respond when asked for comment on the issue. She is currently residing in an $8 million New York City penthouse in Midtown.

Rosie O’Donnell Rosie O’Donnell Photo: REUTERS