A court has dismissed a lawsuit from Stefano Farsura, after Douglas Elliman’s agent and investor alleged he was barred from investing in a luxury spa.
Italian spa company QC Terme partnered with Farsura in 2011 for a North American expansion, starting in New York. Under the deal, Farsura would hold a 22% minority stake in the company.
Farsura — managing partner of real estate investment and development firm Colonnade Group and husband of former “Million Dollar Listing New York” cast member Kristen Jordan — brought QC Terme to Governor’s Island. The complaint says the developer secured local engineers, architects, lawyers and consultants, orchestrated the lease, received a $20 million tax credit, introduced investors to the project and convinced Landmarks Preservation Commission to vote in favor of approving the project.
Farsura was not reimbursed for his efforts, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in New York Supreme Court in November 2021.
Things changed when private equity investor Whitebridge came on the scene and bought 47% of QC Terme’s global business. The group insisted that QC Terme renegotiate Farsura’s 22% stake in the North American company.
“Instead of showing loyalty to Farsura, who had come on board when their North American expansion was nothing more than a pipe dream and led the company every step of the way.
Incidentally, QC Terme attempted to change its contract from shareholder to employee,” the complaint states.
When Farsura refused the change in terms, QC Terme denied ever being a stakeholder and instead purchased all of the valuable assets of the jointly owned Delaware LLC with Farsura, pretended to dissolve the entity, and attempted to cash Farsura for a few cents.
However, in a series of motions filed on Tuesday, largely against Farsura, the court denied QC Terme’s motion to dismiss breach of contract claims.
Neither Farsura, its legal team nor QC Terme responded to requests for comment.
The Italian spa operator was Governor’s Island’s first commercial tenant, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2014, with plans to convert 80,000 square feet on three buildings. WWD reported the development encountered a problem with the start of the pandemic, which caused QC Terme’s turnover to fall from 91.5 million euros in 2019 to 39 million euros in 2020.
In total, the first phase of the project gave rise to a $50 million redevelopment military barracks. The location opened this spring, offering indoor and outdoor spaces for spa and wellness treatments a ferry ride from the Financial District.