The stars of HGTV’s Windy City Rehab are back at it in Chicago.
The reality show, in which Chicago native Alison Victoria buys, remodels, and flips homes across the city, was renewed for a second season in February, and crews already appear to be filming on the North Side.
Their current project? If Victoria’s Instagram is any indication, it’s a vintage Bucktown two-flat at 1846 North Damen Avenue — better known by area residents as the flagship Miko’s Italian Ice location, which closed last month after 21 years in the neighborhood. (The Miko’s stores in Logan Square and Irving Park remain open.)
Last week, Victoria posted two images in an Instagram story that appear to show the site. The first is of a clapperboard with the building’s address written on it, the second, an interior wall being demolished.
According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Victoria, whose full name is Alison Victoria Gramenos, and her co-host, Donovan Eckhardt, bought the building for $949,000 on February 15. The same day, they took out a mortgage of $1.234 million under the name Alovan LLC (a portmanteau of Alison and Donovan).
Reached by email, Victoria declined to comment on the show’s involvement at 1846 North Damen Avenue.
The property is one of many in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area that Victoria and Eckhardt have taken on. Others, as highlighted on this Sun-Times map, include 1700 West Wabansia Avenue, 1800 West Wabansia Avenue, 1803 West Wabansia Avenue, 1635 West Pierce Avenue, 1929 North Leavitt Street, and 1906 North Hoyne Avenue.
One of Victoria’s Season 1 rehabs, a two-story brick home at 1965 West Evergreen Avenue, listed last month for $2.3 million. The home was originally sold to A Victoria Holdings LLC for $650,000 in July of 2017, according to the Recorder of Deeds. A mortgage of $2.16 million was subsequently taken out on the property, presumably to cover remodeling costs.
Windy City Rehab is a certifiable hit. In a February press release, parent company Discover said it was on pace to be HGTV’s “highest-rated freshman series in more than a year.”
But the show hasn’t always been popular with neighbors. A March Sun-Times report highlighted multiple complaints and violations against Victoria and Eckhardt, including two stop-work orders for performing improvements beyond those allowed by permits.
As early as 2016, while filming their previous show, Kitchen Crashers, Victoria and Eckhardt were hit with a stop-work order for a remodel on a Bucktown worker cottage that turned into the demolition. A vintage Wicker Park Victorian featured on Kitchen Crashers is still for sale, currently listed at $1.25 million.
Elsewhere, Rehab has its supporters. In a blog post titled “Boo Hoo ‘Windy City Rehab’ is Making Everyone Richer Along the Blue Line,” Barstool Sports defended Victoria and Eckhardt, chastising local media for “taking them to task for things like ‘construction’ and ‘trash.’ ”
A premiere date hasn’t been announced for Windy City Rehab’s second season, but keep an eye on Victoria’s social media as filming continues — there might just be more teasers to come.
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