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Romance Is in the Air at Philadelphia Apartment Complex

May 16, 1996

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Joe Valentine, the sexy stud with the sparkling smile, is already up to Girlfriend No. 6.

Not bad for Valentine’s first six months at Summit Park Apartments, where the dating scene for twentysomethings is so intense, the matchmaking so obsessive, that it seems almost a law of nature that the young professionals will end up tying the knot.

Think ``Love Boat″ in dry dock. Think 24-hour ``Love Connection.″

``We’re selling sex,″ says Karen Moyer, who puts out ``Sum-it-up,″ the six-page list of monthly activities for the 500-apartment Summit Park, which like many complexes caters to singles.

At the modest complex of wood and brick buildings in the city’s Roxborough neighborhood, tenants meet sunning by the pool, sweating on the Nautilus machines, and drinking and winking at the Libations bar.

Then, with remarkable consistency, they get married. Those in the know say one in 20 tenants marries a neighbor.

``I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t out looking for a wife,″ Valentine, a 23-year-old software consultant, confides from his three-bedroom bachelor pad.

The Summit is so popular there’s a waiting list to live on the 22-acre playground, where the sidewalks are laid out across the rolling grass hills in crisscrosses to create opportunities to ``run into someone.″

``You can make repetition intentional at the Summit,″ says Marla Cohen, 32, who met her husband, Rich, walking to the pool. ``If a girl’s interested ... if she finds out this person works out all the time, there’s a real good chance she’ll see him at the gym every night.″

The clubhouse is the prime mating ground. Tenants work out, swim, make pottery, play volleyball, meditate with yoga and then drink themselves silly at the bar and restaurant.

Last week, Monday night was ``ab workout″ (the last one before summer!). Wednesday was a ``Summer Cocktails″ seminar. Later that night was the date auction (Valentine shelled out beaucoup bucks for the brunette in a skintight red dress). Friday night? ``Any Size Mug Night.″ And Sunday, everyone took it easy: scuba diving in the morning, softball in the afternoon.

Rent includes utilities and clubhouse activities and runs from $560 for a studio to $1,050 for a three-bedroom.

``If everyone spilled their guts,″ says Megan Grosky, a 25-year-old elementary school teacher who is trying to settle down but ends up partying all night, ``we’d have a real nice mini-series.″

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