$4.1 million bid for Philly archdiocese NJ villa

September 15, 2012 9:37:29 PM PDT
A sprawling beachfront villa in New Jersey auctioned off by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has gone for $4.125 million after fierce bidding between local families and a developer.

Winning bidders Steve and Ilene Berger of Newtown Square said Saturday that they would preserve the property as a family compound.

Tom Croke, representing the archdiocese in its property distribution, acknowledged "lots of mixed feelings" about the sale of the 11-bedroom Villa St. Joseph in Ventnor, near Atlantic City, which has been a retreat for priests for half a century.

The bid is subject to final approvals, but real estate and archdiocese officials have indicated that the church would be inclined to accept any reasonable bid for the property, which was assessed at $6.2 million.