Villa by the Sea, the block-long, beach-front Ventnor home owned by the Catholic Archdiocese was sold at auction Saturday for a winning bid of $4.125 million.

The winning bid was placed by Steve and Ilene Berger of Philadelphia.  According to... the Press of Atlantic City, the couple are owners of Berger Rental Communities, renting apartments in the Philadelphia area.
The Bergers plan to renovate and restore the home for their children and grandchildren. Word is that the winning bidders even plan to keep the property groundskeeper in his position and to hold an annual reunion for priests from the archdiocese.

Neighbors worried that the property would be torn down and  sub-divided for as many as six smaller homes.

The property became available when the archdiocese decided in late June to sell several large, pieces of church-owned real estate to help cover a $17 million dollar budget deficit.

Built in 1905, St. Joseph by the Sea at 114 S. Princeton Avenue,  covers a full beach block on the Boardwalk  with a large awning-covered deck,   nine bedrooms,  an elevator, a grand staircase, a marble-tiled entrance way,  neatly manicured lawn and landscaping,and a large backyard with a lily pond.