Eric von Kuersteiner, owner and President of Pines Commercial Properties officially announced today the sale of the historical Fire Island Pines Resort to FIP Ventures, LLC. The businesses and properties sold in the purchase include A Fresh Market, Aqua Pool & Gym, Bamboo Florist, Bay Bar Café, Blue Whale Restaurant, Hotel Ciel, Index, Pavilion Complex, Retail space currently occupied by D. Katen Real Estate, Island Properties, Pines Liquor Store and the adjacent Harbor Front and dock. Properties 16 Atlantic Walk and 26 Fire Island Boulevard are also included in the purchase.
EVK purchased the Pines properties from John Whyte in 2004. Whyte chose EVK because he felt as though they shared the same vision for the Pines – to keep it an exclusively gay destination and retreat for both residents and guests alike. EVK hopes this long lasting tradition will continue, which is what has made Fire Island Pines so unique.
EVK spent the previous five years rehabilitating the beloved Pines business district, which had become run down and weathered during the end of Whyte’s reign. EVK created new businesses and retail outlets to enhance the overall guest experience. He invested millions of dollars in repairs and renovations throughout the commercial area including the reconstruction of the Pavilion Complex. EVK also instituted new parties and events that are now staples in the legendary Pine’s entertainment schedule. As a result of his efforts, the Pines experienced a period of rejuvenation and growth, attracting thousands of new gay visitors to the island each year.
The sale of the Pines has the unprecedented prestige of being Fire Island’s largest real estate transaction to date. The purchase price is almost quadruple the initial investment made, and boasts a highly profitable annualized return.
EVK will maintain business as usual in Fire Island Pines with his other companies, Coastline Freight and Maximus Construction. He will also continue to produce the annual Ascension and Bay Dance parties, benefiting The Fund in the Sun Foundation, responsible for significant donations to numerous charities.
EVK has remained completely silent during the initial phases of the sale. When asked for comment regarding the sale, EVK stated: “We purchased the Pines six short years ago with the intention to not only preserve its history, but to reinvent it as well; to make The Pines relevant and increase its popularity with the new gay generation. I believe we were successful, so much so that this ‘generation’ voluntarily approached us with a keen interest to purchase it. I will remain a loyal and loving resident of Fire Island Pines and look forward to working and expanding business relationships there. I wish FIP Ventures the very best of luck and success with their new endeavor.”