One of Sag Harbor’s oldest businesses threatened by family dispute

August 15, 2011 06:58PM

IGA Market, one of the oldest business on Sag Harbor’s
Main street, might be forced out because of a family dispute over rent,
the Sag Harbor Express reported. Husband and wife Michael and Jennifer Schiavoni, the
owners of the supermarket, have reportedly received a notice from the building’s
owner that they need to leave if they do not agree to a rent
increase. But the building’s owner’s are Michael’s mother, Victoria
Schiavoni and his aunt, Doris Schiavoni. Currently, Michael and
Jennifer pay about $10,800 a month in rent to Schiavoni Family, LLC,
for a total of about $129,600 a year. According to a letter from Doris
and Victoria’s lawyer, Kathryn Dalli, the future rent per month will
be $17,068, or about $204,816 a year, a more than $75,000 increase per year.
Michael told the Sag Harbor Express that he and his wife don’t want to shutter the store, but that they can’t afford the increase. While Victoria declined to comment, calling it a family matter, Michael said he wants to mobilize community support.

Initially, the building and the business had been owned by John
Schiavoni — Doris’ late husband — and his brother Joseph Schiavoni — Victoria’s late husband and Michael’s father. But after John sold his share of the business to Joseph in the 1980s,
Michael ultimately inherited it, while the building went to
the widows.

For many years, the family had been handling the ownership
documents for the market informally. But now the family members are in
particular in disagreement over the calculation of the actual usable
square footage in the building.

According to a recent survey
conducted for Schiavoni Family, LLC, there is about 7,600 square feet
of retail space. But Michael and his wife maintain there is
only about 5,500 square feet of usable retail space, based on a survey
completed at the time of Joseph’s death. [Sag Habor Express]