A massive upgrade of Fire Island Pine's
commercial district is being promised by its new owners.
Fire Island is a nearly exclusively gay
male community located on the barrier island south of Long Island.
It remains nearly isolated, reachable only by ferry.
Once considered a gay oasis for New
York men who flocked to its pristine beaches looking for romance and
frolic, the island has fallen out of fashion in recent times.
The deal worth $17 million includes the
famed Pavilion nightclub complex, the Blue Whale and Bay Bar
restaurants, the Hotel Ciel, a grocery store, a gym and a clothing
store, as well as numerous retail spaces and residential properties –
nearly thee-quarters of the commercial properties in Fire Island.
The three men behind the deal say
they'll revamp the strip and give residents the “high level of
services and amenities” they demand.
The buyers, who collectively make up
FIP Ventures, consist of Matthew Blesso, 26, president of Blesso
Properties, an investor and developer of innovative high-end real
estate in New York and abroad; Andrew Kirtzman, 48, a journalist and
owner of The Madison Fire Island Pines, a high-end bed and breakfast
that commands as much as $900 a night, and Seth Weissman, 26, a
managing partner of Weissman Equities, a Manhattan-based real estate
The properties were not for sale until
the team approached the previous owners.
“This no-bid deal provided a rare
opportunity to acquire a highly profitable set of properties at a
below-market price,” said Weissman. “We weren't surprised when
appraisers valued the properties significantly higher than our
The three owners are planning major
upgrades to the properties, including a complete renovation of the
hotel this fall.
“The Hotel Ciel is the most visible
property when people arrive in the community on the ferry,” Blesso
said. “Our aim is to transform it with a spectacular new design,
so it serves as a welcoming beacon to residents and visitors.”