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Windy City Rehab

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I have a 10-year-old Twitter account that I only use for reading, but was annoyed enough to send my second ever tweet to HGTV expressing my disappointment that they are continuing to promote/support an unethical and dangerous contractor.

Will we eventually see Mike Holmes or Scott McGillivray going through her finished properties and pointing out all the shoddy work?

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10 hours ago, buttersister said:

Wondering whose palm got greased—and by whom—Donovan and Victoria we’re partners. How does she (who referred to vendors as hers) have a pass to attract another famewhore contractor?

Alison Victoria would drop Donovan in a hot minute to hang on to her show. She's made it very clear that she is the queen and he's just a worker bee,

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Windy City Rehab’ Stars Can’t Work In Chicago After Losing Latest Appeal

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WICKER PARK — In a Monday ruling, the city’s Department of Buildings upheld its decision to strip “Windy City Rehab” co-stars Alison V. Gramenos and Donovan Eckhardt of their building privileges in Chicago.

The co-hosts both lost their ability to apply for work permits in Chicago after a lengthy series of code violations at nearly a dozen properties meant to be featured on their show, HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab,” as first reported by Block Club.

Both Gramenos and Eckhardt appealed the decisions, and both lost their appeals.

In Monday’s ruling, however, the city decided that Gramenos may continue to work at 1846 N. Damen Ave., 1924 W. Berenice Ave., 1815 W. Augusta Ave. and 1636 N. Wood St. — but only if she addresses various code violations.

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Eckhardt appealed, but in May, the city made its decision final and the ban on permit applications became indefinite. 

On June 20, the city moved to strip Gramenos and her associated companies of permit application privileges. These companies include Alovan, LLC, Alovanward, LLC, and Hot
N Cold, LLC.

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On June 20 — the same day the city stripped Gramenos of permit application privileges — the city moved to ban Eckhardt and Greymark’s real estate and general contractor licenses.

The developer appealed, and on Monday, the city ruled to uphold the ban.

The city did, however, reduce the term from one year to 45 days. That means Greymark can apply for a new business license in 45 days, but Eckhardt is out of luck when it comes to permits.

Eckhardt and Gramenos may file petitions for reinstatement of privileges at any time.

Edited by jquitar
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I'm glad the city authorities in Chicago are stopping substandard work, and not letting this poor construction continue.      I bet we won't see some building authority showing the poor construction, I bet it will be lawsuits starting against the builders.  

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The DIY network could have a whole new season of Mike Makes It Right just featuring him fixing Windy City Rehab projects. It would be a great educational opportunity!

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OMG, I dropped by to discuss some design choices that I just saw on this show and read how things were quite serious.  This was the first time that I had seen this show.  Oh well, maybe, there won't be any more seasons.  It seemed like the woman had some good ideas, but, then when they materialized, they didn't make sense to me.  Like a gold ornate door frame on a modern looking house.  It just looked odd to me. Of course, I suppose you could just replace it. But, she seemed to think that it was awesome.  And then there were the little sticky plastic circles glued to the wall over the bed in master.....odd.  And, then the black circles on white background in master bath....she must have an obsession with things like that. Seemed odd choices for a million plus house.  I missed the part when they put cabinets in the kitchen, but, didn't see any upper cabinets at the reveal.  I also thought a lot of the staging seemed junkie with cheap nic-naks all around.  Also cheap looking plants and trees.  

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Maybe, it's just me, but, is it preferable to have a cheap ugly plant or tree in the corner to leaving it bare?  Just curious.  I just think empty beats some types of looks. lol

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They're having some reruns this morning.   I'm watching one I missed, with the historic home, they're trying to sell for $1.4 million, and supposedly sold for $1.3.    How does anyone claim they kept the 'original' fire place, when they paint the marble on it blah gray, and put a hideous fire place screen in orangy looking gold?   I wonder if the addition they put on to this house is one that was a permit problem?    The gold accents, and mixed metals everywhere make everything look cheap.   

This is the historic home that they did a replica of the house as a chicken coop.     The neighbors say that it wasn't finished, there is still trash in the front and back yards, and the chicken coop is long gone.    The interactive map on the previous page says that as of the date of the article, the house was for sale for $1.4 million, 'sold' for $1.3 million" (said on the show ending), but months later the property records do not list a sale.  

I would never live in Chicago, because of the winters, and I could never afford a house that's over a million dollars.   But if I could afford it, I would even look at an AV house, because they look like cold, sterile boxes.     The mixed metal finishes look terrible to me.  

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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They have to have a silent partner. There’s no way they can sink that much money into these houses, not sell them, and stay afloat. The rerun they showed after Rock the Block said the house was sold, but it’s still in their name with a $2.5 million mortgage. 

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Someone at HGTV must really love Allison Victoria! They keep promoting her despite failure after failure and a distinct lack of talent. Of course, this network  has so many talentless "personalities" now; there must be a lot of anonymous elves working behind the scenes on the decorating projects while the actors are on camera.

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‘Windy City Rehab’ Gets Back To Work On Some Chicago Homes

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BUCKTOWN — It’s been nearly six months since the city ordered HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab” to stop work on a handful of Chicago homes amid a litany of building code violations.

Going into 2020, however, neighbors might notice resumed work at some of the show’s properties.

The city has lifted nearly a dozen stop work orders since the summer, said Gregg Cunningham, a Department of Buildings spokesman.

“Windy City Rehab” co-stars Alison Victoria Gramenos and Donovan Eckhardt are still banned from applying for new building permit applications.

What they can do is slowly resume work on existing rehabs — if they follow the rules.

“It’s only to correct past violations,” Cunningham said.

In other words, HGTV doesn’t have free reign to rehab the entire Windy City.

This is “in effect indefinitely until the issues at all these properties have been addressed to satisfaction of the Department of Buildings,” Cunningham said. “We’re still monitoring the work closely, watching for any attempt to file a permit using a different name. [We are] watching closely for any attempt to circumvent our process here.”

As of Friday, of the 15 properties associated with the TV show, 12 await final inspections and two have been given the green light to resume work.

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I have to wonder...in light of all the work stoppages and cost overruns (on the show) and that very few of the houses seem to have sold...where is she getting all this money??

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On ‎8‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 9:52 AM, SunnyBeBe said:

Maybe, it's just me, but, is it preferable to have a cheap ugly plant or tree in the corner to leaving it bare?  Just curious.  I just think empty beats some types of looks. lol

Just say no to plastic trees and plants and fake flowers (is that redundant?)!

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After watching Allison Victoria’s recent appearance on Rock the Block, my opinion of her was confirmed, ‘what a nasty piece of work’.  So egotistical and condescending.   Her designs are gaudy and over the top.

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On 1/30/2019 at 12:34 AM, Swiss said:

Good grief.  This show went downhill fast.   If I was Donavon, I'd stuff Alison behind some drywall and mud her in!  She's extremely unlikeable and a constant complainer.  I had to turn it off tonight.  

 And her hair color drives me crazy!!

After watching her on Rock the Block, my opinion of her was confirmed.  She’s nasty, condescending and egotistical.  I think her designs are tacky and over the top. 

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Saw this on the Chicago news today. They are being sued by the buyers of one of their homes for shoddy workmanship and fraud. The article has the address and pictures of the house. 

 

https://https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/1/5/21049885/windy-city-rehab-lawsuit-alison-victoria-fraud-gramenos-donovan-eckhardt-leaking-roof-water/entertainment/tv/ct-ent-windy-city-rehab-lawsuit-0107-20200106-kqxupx4yevfqbnfcpvhvynqr4u-story.html

 

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1 hour ago, CynicalGirl said:

Saw this on the Chicago news today. They are being sued by the buyers of one of their homes for shoddy workmanship and fraud. The article has the address and pictures of the house. 

 

https://https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/1/5/21049885/windy-city-rehab-lawsuit-alison-victoria-fraud-gramenos-donovan-eckhardt-leaking-roof-water/entertainment/tv/ct-ent-windy-city-rehab-lawsuit-0107-20200106-kqxupx4yevfqbnfcpvhvynqr4u-story.html

 

Have to wonder if the city of Chicago even inspected this place and if they did pass it, then they are also responsible for the faulty workmanship.

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I just don't understand how the network can keep promoting this woman given the depth of her ineptitude. It's not like she makes up for that with her sparkling personality and mad design skills.

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I'm amazed that they claim to have Season 2 starting in the spring, since they can't even work on projects any longer.     

 

I wonder if the house in the article is the one where they built a chicken coup that was a miniature of the house?    

Edited by CrazyInAlabama

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^ I think they probably have episodes ready for Season 2. More info at link, but it says:

"HGTV will have a lot of material to work with for Season 2, which was greenlit in February 2019 — a month after Season 1 premiered. Gramenos told the Tribune last year that cameras did not stop rolling between the first and second seasons."

https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/ct-ent-windy-city-rehab-lawsuit-0107-20200106-kqxupx4yevfqbnfcpvhvynqr4u-story.html

Maybe HGTV will just air what they have but it seems at this point they should walk away and wash their hands of it. It also appears that Alison and her partner are on the rocks, so if they are filming now while they're cleaning up their messes, there's probably some tension. lol 

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I'm going to be in that neighborhood on Friday so will check it out to see if there is obvious damage.  I'll post back. 

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Local station would also like you to know how extraordinary it would be for HGTV to continue with this sh*tshow. In keeping with Alison’s attempt to throw Donovan under a bus, train, heavy machinery, etc. 

#WindyCitySh*tShow

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A very late contribution, sorry for that, but the show and Pierce house episode is being aired on HGTV in Asia right now.

 

And what a joke! Complete lack of project management skills, stupid design decisions, amazing building mistakes....

 

Anyway, something I did not read here and what struck me, was the reaction of AV on the premier (?) in the antique store, on the asking (yes the seller really asked, realizing the amount was absurd for a framed hall mirror) price: "$950? That's all?". Great negotiating skills.

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On 1/7/2020 at 9:17 AM, CynicalGirl said:

Maybe HGTV will just air what they have but it seems at this point they should walk away and wash their hands of it. It also appears that Alison and her partner are on the rocks, so if they are filming now while they're cleaning up their messes, there's probably some tension. lol 

Basically.  Even with the footage they have, there’s so much negative press with this show.  Besides the shoddy craftsmanship, the current residents don’t want them there, anyway.

And I noticed that the recent articles list Donovan as Alison’s ex-partner.  I guess she would have to get a new construction partner to continue the series.  

 

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Gramenos (aka A.V.) even offered to buy the $1.4 million house back, and move in.   I can see the look on the neighbors' faces when they read that.    (I love the headline on that story: “Windy City Rehab” Saga Keeps Blowing").     

Why do I suspect the buy back price would be a low ball offer?    I can't imagine buying a home for $1.4 million, and having to put almost $100k more into it to fix the roof and windows.  

Can you imagine the look on a home inspector's face when they get a call to look at one of the houses in question, if someone is actually thinking of buying it?    I wonder if the buyers in the $1.4 million house had a home inspection?   

I bet if she moves into one of the homes that neighbors are up in arms about, that her life will be constant visits from codes enforcement, and anyone else you can complaint to about her.     That was the biggest point that neighbors were complaining about, long before the permit issues came up.   Workers blocking sidewalks, and streets, parking and throwing trash all over neighbor's property.   

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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Went to dinner recently in the neighborhood of homes "featured" on this show. The driver pointed out a couple and most people had heard about the clusterf*cks. Figured originally, permits were bought with a side of "great publicity"--but the City doesn't appreciate being played, publically. Mostly no one could believe HGTV was supporting this level of bs.  HGTV, are we done yet?

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‘Windy City Rehab’ host suing notary public she says forged her signature on documents

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There’s more legal drama for “Windy City Rehab.”

Alison Victoria Gramenos, who flips Chicago homes on the HGTV renovation series, accuses a notary public of either forging her signature on financial documents or notarizing documents that Gramenos says she did not sign.

Gramenos filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against notary public Adriana Rodriguez and is seeking a temporary restraining order against her. A hearing is scheduled for Friday at the downtown Daley Center.

Gramenos said she learned during an audit that “her signature had been affixed by others without her knowledge or consent to a large number of documents, including loan documents, operating agreements and lien waivers,” according to the lawsuit.

 

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The documents submitted as part of the lawsuit deal with some of the properties featured on Season 1 of “Windy City Rehab” — 885 W. Lill Ave. in Lincoln Park; 1635 W. Pierce Ave. in Wicker Park; and 2123 W. Thomas St. in Ukrainian Village. Gramenos and contractor Donovan Eckhardt teamed up to flip those homes on the show.

The pair were involved in other court action this week.

A hearing was held Thursday on four “Windy City Rehab” properties the city deemed “dangerous and unsafe.” The properties — 1846 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown; 1924 W. Berenice Ave. in North Center; 1815 W. Augusta Blvd. in East Ukrainian Village; and 3352 S. Carpenter St. in Bridgeport — are to be kept vacant and secure until the next court hearing on April 16.

 

 

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You know, I don’t believe Victoria. I think she’s trying to weasel out of responsibility for those loans.

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So they have 4 properties on hold that they can't sell, and one in litigation that's she's allegedly buying back? Their financial situation has to be on the verge of collapse. And the bad publicity keeps coming. Yet HGTV keeps running reruns of the show. You'd think they'd cut their losses already. 

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Every time I turn to HGTV, they’re showing the same episode of the big white monstrosity with all of the modern touches.  That house looks a giant prison if it were done by Restoration Hardware. How this show ever got the green light is beyond me.. Victoria annoys the crap out of me. Donovan seems mmmkay, but seems to play her whipping boy. HGTV, if still filming this drama fest program won’t mind if it has to can any future eps.  Relatively speaking, these shows are cheap to produce 

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From what I read on here, the second season of this idiotic show was filmed at the same time as the first season, so that's why they have the same crew.    I can't believe that HGTV claims they're going to show Season 2 of this.  

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One of the houses that was allegedly supposed to be on the second season is in bankruptcy.   So that tracks with their record.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/ct-ent-windy-city-rehab-lawsuit-donovan-eckhardt-20200225-bsg24xjqwbd23iivfktv26ejai-story.html

 

From the article:

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Belmont Bank & Trust has initiated foreclosure proceedings on a Bucktown home connected to the popular HGTV renovation series “Windy City Rehab.”

The bank is seeking $925,000 plus additional interest from 1727 W. Ellen LLC ― which is managed by “Windy City Rehab” contractor Donovan Eckhardt and real estate broker William Fisher ― for mortgage due at 2147 W. Moffat St., according to a lawsuit filed last month in Cook County Circuit Court. A hearing is set for March 9.

The bank says 1727 W. Ellen LLC defaulted on its loan when it failed to make a payment due Oct. 5, 2019. The Ellen LLC purchased the single-family home on Moffat in September 2017 and refinanced the mortgage twice — the last time a year ago for an $865,000 loan, according to the lawsuit. The full amount now owed includes interest and late fees, the lawsuit states.

Fisher, Eckhardt and an attorney for Ridge Development Partners, the legal holder of the mortgage, did not respond to Tribune requests for comment. “Windy City Rehab” host Alison Victoria Gramenos was not named in this lawsuit.

It’s unclear if 2147 W. Moffat will be part of the second season of “Windy City Rehab,” which follows Gramenos and Eckhardt as they flip homes around Chicago. A neighbor recalled seeing cameras outside the Moffat home last year. It was one of more than a dozen addresses where the Chicago Department of Buildings said it found violations when it temporarily suspended Eckhardt’s general-contractor license over the summer

 

 

Edited by LBS

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With all the screwups, fraud and giving rehabs a bad name in the news, it’s astounding that HGTV hadn’t buried the unseen episodes. Odds, anyone? What an albatross Victoria is.

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So I just watch an episode where she stupidly turned down a full price offer just because she refused to make changes.  They were in the beginning stages!  Not like she had a lot of work to do to change it.  It was her ego!  And she yelled at Donovan who wanted to take the offer.

Now I read the whole topic here to see what you guys thought and I find they they don't even sell the houses they renovate. WTH!!  Why didn't she take that offer?  Idiot.   I got a kick out of that.  What the hell is HGTV thinking with this show? 

 

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It may be that she's getting out of the business (or just Chicago).

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BUCKTOWN — About a year after buying the old Miko’s Italian Ice building, the Windy City Rehab team has listed the two-flat for sale — for someone else to rehab.

The property at 1846 N. Damen Ave. was listed on Redfin Tuesday for $999,000. Its owner, Alison Victoria Gramenos, bought the property in February 2019 for $949,000.

Gramenos and HGTV’s Windy City Rehab team typically fix up and flip properties they purchase, but after being scolded by the city for a litany of work violations, the Bucktown building was put up for sale without the overhaul.

 

 

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On 3/12/2020 at 3:03 PM, jquitar said:

BUCKTOWN — About a year after buying the old Miko’s Italian Ice building, the Windy City Rehab team has listed the two-flat for sale — for someone else to rehab.

The property at 1846 N. Damen Ave. was listed on Redfin Tuesday for $999,000. Its owner, Alison Victoria Gramenos, bought the property in February 2019 for $949,000.

She has some gall to think someone is going to spend $50k MORE than what she bought it for a year ago when NOTHING has been done to the property.  If anything, I would think the property would sell for less than what she paid for just because her name and crappy reputation is tied to it.  

Edited by juliet73
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Update on the lawsuit.

‘Windy City Rehab’ host seeks dismissal from Wicker Park couple’s fraud lawsuit

 

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A Wicker Park couple is suing “Windy City Rehab” host Alison Victoria Gramenos over home renovations “perhaps out of a hope” that Gramenos would be “bullied” into paying a settlement to avoid legal fees and bad press, her attorneys said May 21 in a court filing asking for the claims against her to be tossed from the lawsuit.

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“Windy City Rehab” premiered in January 2019 with 11 Chicago home renovations. HGTV has not announced a premiere date for the second season, which was ordered in February 2019. Gramenos and Eckhardt ran into permit and legal trouble with the city. Eckhardt won’t be back as a contractor for Season 2, Lynch said.

 

Edited by jquitar

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After seeing this woman on “Rock The Block”, my first impression was confirmed. She’s a horrible human being and a worse contractor. Stay far away, people.

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