The Examiner

Consignment Shop Owner Looked to Unload Business Last Year

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The Pleasantville storefrotn of Elegance II Consignment Shop, which has never opened in the village. Its owner had looked to sell the business last year.
The Pleasantville storefront of Elegance II Consignment Shop, which has never opened in the village. Its owner had looked to sell the business last year.

Prior to abandoning her shop, leaving patrons without their merchandise and owing thousands of dollars, it appears that the owner of Elegance II Consignment Shop was looking to sell her business.

Real estate websites and last week listed for sale the 75 S. Greeley Ave. space in Chappaqua that formerly housed Elegance II.

Late last year, Elegance II owner Julia Faotto abruptly closed the Chappaqua shop with the intention to move to a new location in Pleasantville. However, the new shop never opened, and many who did business with her are owed money or have been unable to contact Faotto to retrieve their high-end items that they intended to sell.

John Scialdone, a commercial real estate agent who worked for Douglas Elliman when the property was listed, said while Elegance II was originally being sold as a fully operational business, the listing is in the process of being removed.

Faotto was looking for somebody to take over the lease and the consignment shop, with equipment and inventory included, he said.

Scialdone said that Faotto contacted him in early winter–at about the time she moved to Pleasantville–and stated that she had a change of heart and decided against selling. The post remained active on real estate websites because Scialdone was unable to get in contact with Faotto again to confirm her decision.

About two weeks ago, Faotto responded to Scialdone’s e-mail confirming that the listing should be removed. He speculated that her delayed response may indicate she was not in the United States.

Scialdone explained that Faotto originally decided to sell the business last year with the intention of moving to Costa Rica once the company, which was priced just under $425,000, sold. However, Faotto changed her mind because the business is a niche market, making it difficult to find a qualified buyer, he said.

In addition, since Faotto was looking for someone to take over the remainder of her lease, it was difficult to find a buyer because there was no guarantee of renewal after five years.

According to some of those who left items with Faotto before she relocated to the unopened Pleasantville shop at 484 Bedford Rd., her mother, Babette Faotto, suddenly moved to Costa Rica with her boyfriend last year.

However, a woman close to the Faotto family who spoke to The Examiner last week on the condition of anonymity, said Babette Faotto broke up with her boyfriend, left Costa Rica and had been renting a room in Pleasantville since the fall, but did not know whether she was still living there. Currently, the elder Faotto is in France but is scheduled to return the second week of April.

The woman, who said she is owed $15,000 by Elegance II, said Faotto and her mother were not together as of last Friday, Meanwhile, she said a family friend claimed that Julia Faotto was still in the country as of this week, although police and victims have been unable to locate or contact her.

Prior to the move to Pleasantville, many victims told The Examiner that the checks they received for their sold merchandise bounced. Scialdone said that prior to listing the business he did an analysis and determined that Elegance II was “very viable” and seemed to be doing well financially. He said he found it odd that Faotto left the Chappaqua location, which is in the heart of downtown.

“She had a fantastic lease there, so the fact that they gave it up and moved is interesting,” Scialdone said.

Wells Fargo, which owns the South Greeley Avenue property and rented it to Faotto, declined to confirm whether or not rent was still being paid on the space or if Faotto had been delinquent with her payments.

However, William Barish, an attorney with BGB Realty LLC in White Plains which owns the Pleasantville building where the unopened shop sits, called Julia Faotto “an irresponsible tenant.” She paid the initial month’s rent from a Wells Fargo account but has now missed the last two months’ payments, Barish said. He would not disclose the rent or how much is owed.

Barish said he hasn’t spoken to Faotto in more than three months. The only address he has on file for her is a Stamford, Conn. residence.

While the Bedford Road shop, which is less than 1,000 square feet, was never opened, merchandise can be seen inside. Several victims interviewed by The Examiner said they don’t recognize any of the items they were able to see through the storefront’s window.

Pleasantville Building Inspector Robert Hughes said Faotto was granted a certificate of occupancy on Jan. 21 and could have moved in and begun operations any time after that.

Hughes said he conducted a walk-through of the space after she had set up the shop’s interior. He noted that it took awhile for the move to take place, which he called odd for such a small space that only required cosmetic work. However, the Building Department doesn’t get involved when new tenants move in, noting there can be a variety of personal or financial reasons that could lead to a delay or change in plans, Hughes said.


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