Statement from FIP Ventures LLC

Jan 21, 2010, 14:36 ET from FIP Ventures LLC

FIRE ISLAND, N.Y., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Investment group FIP Ventures has signed a contract to purchase the vast majority of commercial establishments in Fire Island Pines, the internationally-famous gay community.

The group is purchasing the assets of Pines Commercial Properties, including the famed Pavilion nightclub complex, the Blue Whale and Bay Bar restaurants, the Hotel Ciel, a grocery store, gym, clothing store and numerous retail outlets and residential properties. The deal is expected to close in March.

The FIP Ventures team consists of Seth Weissman, 26, a Pines summer renter and a managing partner of Weissman Equities, a Manhattan-based real estate investment firm; Matthew Blesso, 36, president of Blesso Properties, a developer of innovative high-end real estate in New York and abroad, and Andrew Kirtzman, 48, a veteran New York City journalist, author, Fire Island Pines homeowner and owner of The Madison Fire Island Pines.

The FIP Ventures team is a diverse group of highly-accomplished professionals whose combined experience will ensure the continuing success of the Fire Island Pines. 

Blesso, a creative and socially-conscious developer, has garnered numerous design awards, including an American Institute Architects New York State Award of Excellence in 2009. "I'm thrilled our team is acquiring this storied group of assets. This purchase allows us to employ unique designs and concepts and build upon a great tradition," he said.

Kirtzman, the former host of "Kirtzman and Co." on WCBS-TV and "Inside City Hall" on New York 1 News, got his start in journalism as co-founder of The Fire Island Villager, which he began publishing at the age of 17. In 2007, he opened a high-end guest house in the Pines called The Madison Fire Island Pines.

"The Pines is both a chic international destination and a small town, with its own long-standing traditions," said Kirtzman, who has spent virtually every summer of his life in Fire Island.  "We're intent on preserving the very qualities that make the Pines unique."

Weissman, named one of Real Estate New York's "Thirty Under Thirty" people to watch in 2008 and former Goldman Sachs investment banker, said, "This is a community with some of the most accomplished, affluent and creative figures in the gay community. They demand a high level of services and amenities and we will give it to them."

Further details of the transaction and a description of the purchaser's plans will not be released until the acquisition is complete.

Press contact:  Justin Blake (212)704-8165.