‘Windy City Rehab’ team facing multiple lawsuits

‘Windy City Rehab’ team facing multiple lawsuits

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“Windy City Rehab”co-star Alison Victoria Gramenos.

CHICAGO — There’s more trouble for the team behind the popular HGTV series “Windy City Rehab.” Though Season 2 is expected to premiere later this year, the TV stars face multiple lawsuits, and they are starting to turn on each other.

A couple who bought one of the North Side homes featured on the first season of the show is suing “Windy City Rehab” host Alison Victoria Gramenos and contractors Donovan Eckhardt and Ermin Pajazetovic over alleged problems with their roof, windows, exterior masonry and hallway bathroom.

Pajazetovic’s Space Builders company, meanwhile, is suing Eckhardt and his company, Greymark Development Group, over work it said it completed on a Lakeview property, but that Greymark didn’t allegedly finish paying for. Both of those lawsuits were filed Dec. 30 in Cook County court.

Since July, the city of Chicago has sought civil action against the “Windy City Rehab” team over “dangerous and unsafe conditions” at four properties. The city ordered the team to stop work at these and other properties, seemingly pushing back premiere of the second season of the show.

Gramenos said last month on Twitter that the second season is expected to premiere in the summer. In a July 2019 interview with the Tribune, Gramenos had targeted early 2020.

It’s unclear how much of this court action will make it onto the show. James and Anna Morrissey are suing over issues with the $1.36 million home they purchased at 2308 W. Giddings St. in Lincoln Square. The couple says leaks, material defects and water-related problems at the property were not disclosed before closing, and that the day after closing in March 2019, the shower in their upstairs hallway bathroom leaked and drained through the kitchen ceiling, according to the lawsuit, which was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The couple also noted exterior masonry problems, improper installation of windows and the need for a new roof. They said the “Windy City Rehab” team agreed to cover costs associated with those issues, but they didn’t receive all the funds as promised and they had to shell out for upgrades and landscaping. Now they want out of the home.

The couple said Gramenos’ check to cover a portion of the roof and roof masonry repairs cleared, but the check from Greymark did not, according to the lawsuit. The couple said they told Gramenos that and she replied via text message “if I have to cover (Eckhardt’s and/or Greymark’s) portion I will. I do not want him to f — — with my life or business any more than he already has.”

In an email to the Tribune, Gramenos said, “I worked directly with the Morrisseys to resolve any issues of concern related to their home renovation. I cannot comment on pending litigation.” A representative for the law firm representing the couple also declined to comment. A hearing in that case is set for April 28.

Meanwhile, Space Builders is suing Eckhardt and Greymark for fraud over $108,500 Space Builders says it is owed for work done at 612 W. Stratford Pl. in Lakeview. Pajazetovic and his attorney did not return a Tribune request for comment. A hearing on that case is scheduled for March 3.

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. A representative for HGTV did not return a Tribune request for comment.

The team was ordered to stop work last year for a variety of alleged violations at multiple properties, including 1846 N. Damen Ave., in the Bucktown neighborhood; 1924 W. Berenice Ave., in North Center; 1815 W. Augusta Blvd., in East Ukrainian Village; and 3352 S. Carpenter St., in Bridgeport. Those are the four properties the city is seeking action over in housing court.

Gregg Cunningham, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Buildings, told the Tribune in an email that “those properties remain in court to ensure that the owners follow through on their obligations to work within the scope of their permits, follow the permit plans and maintain a safe and secure work site.” A hearing on the four cases is scheduled for Feb. 20. Eckhardt and an attorney for Greymark did not return a Tribune request for comment.

Work has since resumed on most of the properties expected to be featured on Season 2 of “Windy City Rehab,” but an orange stop-work sign was placed on the front door of the Augusta location last month for alleged performance of unlicensed work, as reported by Block Club Chicago.

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