Building Code Violations Jeopardize Hit HGTV Show

Reality TV renovators from "Windy City Rehab" have been banned from pulling construction permits following multiple citations and neighbor complaints.

thestars of windy city rehabCourtesy of HGTV

The city of Chicago recently banned the stars of the HGTV home renovation show “Windy City Rehab” from pulling construction permits, putting the future of the show into question.

“Windy City Rehab,” a hit for HGTV that was renewed for a second season in February, follows host Alison Victoria as she and her co-star and general contractor Donovan Eckhardt renovate fixer-uppers in the Chicago area. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Department of Buildings also intends to suspend both Eckhardt’s residential real estate development license and his general contractor license for one year following multiple citations for illegal work.

“In the notice sent to Eckhardt regarding the contractor’s license suspension, the city states that the contractor performed work without a permit at 11 properties, three of which were featured on the first season of the show,” the Sun Times reported. In addition to these citations, “Windy City Rehab” also faces scrutiny and complaints from Chicago residents. The Chicago Tribune first reported that locals were unhappy with the show as far back as December 2018.

According to Fox News, Eckhardt and his development group Greymark appealed their suspensions, but that appeal has already been denied.

It is unclear how these suspensions will ultimately impact the production of the show as it moves forward filming its second season. Alison Victoria publicly responded to the reports in an Instagram post.

“I want you to hear it from me directly that I am working closely with the City of Chicago to repair and amend any and all permits with our new general contractors,” wrote Victoria. “The building department says they are pleased with our efforts and we will continue to work closely together to move in the right direction. Season 2 [sic] of Windy City Rehab is currently in production.”

The phrase “new general contractors” in the post seems to imply that the show will be moving on from Eckhardt and working with different general contractors, but no official statement has been made on the subject and no replacements have been named.

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