HGTV's Windy City Rehab is right up the alley for anybody who loves TV shows about home renovations, as Chicago native Alison Victoria Gramenos and Donovan Eckhardt restore old buildings in Chicago in historic neighborhoods. As the title indicates, Chicago is essential to the series, which means that Windy City Rehab's recent loss of permit privileges in Chicago pretty problematic, all due to alleged issues behind the scenes.
The show was reportedly ordered to stop all work on properties in Chicago due to the fact that Greymark Development Group, which is owned by Donovan Eckhardt and associated with projects on Windy City Rehab, lost its permit privileges. Greymark is said by Block Club Chicago to have appealed but failed to have its permit privileges reinstated. What does this mean? Greymark is subject to a year-long ban on general contractor and real estate licenses, as well as an indefinite ban on permit applications. The year-long ban is under appeal. Even Lance Bass couldn't make this better!
According to the notice of suspension of license from the City of Chicago Department of Buildings, Greymark Development was suspended for many reasons. The notice states that the decision was made because Greymark performed work that required a permit without actually getting a permit, worked in ways that deviated from the plans that were approved by the appropriate department, worked in a way that prompted a stop work order by the City of Chicago, and failed to schedule inspections or submit required certifications upon completion of work. This last, according to the notice, includes four properties where final inspections were not scheduled and two units that were sold and occupied before final inspection.
And that's not all! The notice goes on to state that Greymark was also suspended because the company failed to contact the appropriate department for certificate of occupancy for two properties, allowed unlicensed/uncertified/unregistered individuals to work on properties, allowed individuals other than the person listed on the permit to work on properties, made false statements, performed or directed work against a certain code, failed to correct defects as directed, and performed or directed work that posed a threat to health and safety. Phew!
If all of that wasn't enough, Chicago furthermore revoked permit applications for known LLCs connected to Alison Victoria Gramenos. Could this be the end of Windy City Rehab? Or will this be another case of an HGTV show that seemed doomed managing to continue?
Well, according to a statement from HGTV (via The Wrap), the show isn't done:
Issues related to ‘Windy City Rehab’ have been carefully reviewed. 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.
If Season 2 is in production, that indicates HGTV is probably confident that the issues with the permits and the city of Chicago can be resolved without tanking the series. I do wonder how far into production of Season 2 the show is at this point, though. Could the show still be in the planning stages, not necessarily requiring permits ASAP? Or is progress being made with Chicago at a fast pace? HGTV is probably keen to keep the show running, all things considered.
Only time will tell. I thought Chicago building crises on TV were supposed to appear only on NBC! For now, Season 2 of Windy City rehab is apparently still happening. If you're in the mood for some non-HGTV viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, check out our 2019 summer TV premiere guide.