HGTV Says 'Windy City Rehab' Is 'in Production' Despite Code Violations
Chicago has suspended host Alison Victoria from filing more permits. Her TV contractor got an even stiffer sentence
Season 2 of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab” is “currently in production,” an HGTV spokeswoman tells TheWrap, despite the City of Chicago suspending host Alison Victoria Gramenos — known on TV as Alison Victoria — from filing more work permits after numerous code violations.
The City of Chicago took the punishment a step further for her on-air contractor, Donovan Eckhardt, suspending both his residential real-estate developer license and his Greymark Development company’s general contractor license for one year, according to filings obtained by TheWrap.
“Issues related to ‘Windy City Rehab’ have been carefully reviewed,” the HGTV spokeswoman said. “Appropriate parties are in communication with local building officials and working to resolve any outstanding issues. Season 2 of the series is currently in production.”
The cable channel’s spokeswoman did not elaborate on what facets of the house-flipping series were still in production if neither Gramenos or Eckhardt — or the companies associated with them — could file more permits with the city.
The HGTV statement comes after the city issued stop-work orders on several of the duo’s properties — including some which were intended to be featured on Season 2 of “Windy City Rehab” — over what a spokesman for the city described as “pattern of unsafe work and building code violations.”
According to their individual suspension notices, Gramenos and Eckhardt’s violations included, but were not limited to: performing or directing work without a permit, performing or directing work that deviates from the approved plans, failing to schedule inspections, selling units without obtaining a certificate of occupancy, using unlicensed workers, making false statements on permits, and performing or directing work that would not meet code, among other infractions.
Eckhardt and Gramenos have separately moved to appeal the suspensions, though no decision has yet been made by the city. For now, Eckhardt is unable to pull permits “indefinitely.”
“The Dept. of Buildings takes this issue very seriously and takes action against developers and contractors who perform work that compromises safety for the public, workers or building occupants,” a spokesman for the City of Chicago’s buildings department told TheWrap. “We have been monitoring the work of Greymark Development Group closely and have taken progressive disciplinary actions to stop what has become a pattern of unsafe work and building code violations at multiple properties.”
Representatives for the city first met with Eckhardt back in March, when they say they laid out expectations for his work.
“Windy City Rehab,” which debuted in January, sees Gramenos and Eckhardt renovate neglected homes in historic Chicago neighborhoods. HGTV ordered the 10-episode second season earlier this year.
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