City bans ‘Windy City Rehab’ contractor, citing pattern of bad behavior

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CHICAGO — The City of Chicago is putting the brakes on the developer behind "Windy City Rehab" by revoking their permit privileges for one year, citing a pattern of unsafe work conditions and building code violations.

In May, the Department of Buildings revoked the permit privileges for Greymark Development Group, the company owned by co-star Donovan Eckhard, city spokesman Gregg Cunningham confirms.

The City cited issues involving at least 11 properties renovated by Greymark, including: working without permits, working beyond scope of permits, failure to comply with electrical safety codes, hiring unlicensed workers and lying on permit applications.

The one-year permit revocation can be appealed. In a statement, HGTV said: "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."

Neighbors who lived by homes featured on "Windy City Rehab" say they are happy the city cracked down on the developers.

Denise Belland lives right next door to a home on Hoyne in Bucktown that was renovated on the show, and is still on sale for $1.4 million.

"It's much better to have a home and family next door than an empty building," Belland said.

When crews were working on the house, Belland said they damaged her fence and knocked her gutters off, and took months to fix them afterwards.

"They damaged our fencing, they damaged our garage," she said. "One of the cement trucks came and left piles of cement."

Neighbors near another home on Thomas in Ukrainian Village were fed up, and complained to Ald. Brian Hopkins about the contractors. Hopkins said they would block streets and alleys with construction and TV production trucks, and wouldn't move when asked by neighbors.

"We gave them every chance to do the right thing, to work with the neighbors, to follow the rules, get the permits you're supposed to get, and they continued to thumb their nose at the whole system," Hopkins said. "We had no choice but to finally shut them down."

Ukrainian Village resident Miriam Rodriguez-Ruiz said as they were gutting the second floor of a home in the neighborhood, construction crews didn't put up any protective barriers, and threw debris out of the building.

"I am happy for the communities and neighborhoods that no longer have to put up with this. Clearly they have not kept their word over and over again," Rodriguez-Ruiz said.

"Windy City Rehab" just finished its first season, and there's no word on whether this could affect the next season of the show. There are now stop work orders on two of the developer's latest projects in Bucktown. Permit applications for companies connected to the show's co-host Alison Victoria, have also been revoked, Block Club Chicago reports.

Greymark Development Corporation did not respond to requests for an interview.

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