Alison Victoria Claims Windy City Rehab Co-star Allegedly Skipped 30+ Home Inspections
The bombshells about her former business partner just keep coming for HGTV star Alison Victoria.
On Tuesday's episode of Windy City Rehab, the interior designer details how she found out her co-star, contractor and developer Donovan Eckhardt, had his licenses suspended by the city of Chicago — and the shocking reason why — as tensions continue to rise between the pair.
In the exclusive clip above, a stop-work order is posted at one of Victoria's Chicago properties on Berenice Ave. due to unsafe conditions caused by rotting wood at the construction site.
″That obviously is the last thing I want to see,″ Victoria says of the notice. ″Now, here we are. We’re at a total standstill."
But that run-in with a city inspector brought even bigger issues to light.
Chicago city officials (and local news outlets) quickly connected Eckhardt's involvement on the troubled project to a series of past violations, leading to a suspension of his licenses in July 2019.
The Chicago Tribune reported at the time that the Department of Buildings moved to suspend Eckhardt’s real estate developer license and general contractor license for one year. In the notice, the city said that he had worked without a permit at 11 different properties, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
In this week's episode, Victoria reveals she learned of the action in a less than ideal way: ″I was traveling for work and I actually found out through the media that Donovan’s license for his [general contracting] company and his development company was suspended,″ she says.″That’s a massive, massive problem.″
Victoria also claims Eckhardt failed to get inspections on ″30-plus″ prior projects.
″The deputy commissioner made it very clear that Donovan hadn’t gotten inspections or final inspections on 30-plus projects that he did before he even met me,″ she says. ″And I knew that now everything’s under a microscope and that orange sticker went up. And that is what happened on every single project."
The stop-work orders were also issued in July 2019 and at least a dozen were lifted in November 2019, according to the Chicago DOB.
WATCH THIS: Windy City Rehab’s Alison Victoria on Starting Over After a Difficult Year: ‘I’m So Much Stronger’
The incident seemingly further fueled Victoria's desire to cut ties with Eckhardt.
″Honestly, Donovan and I are just in a really bad place right now,″ she says. ″I would be lying if I said was feeling good about this partnership. And the worst part is, I just can’t seem to get answers. I don’t know what I need to do to help solve these issues.″
She previously explained that the homes the former business partners would buy, renovate and sell, are all in both of their names — something she is desperate to change as their relationship crumbles.
″Now I am doing anything that I can to remove Donovan from [the Berenice Ave. house], legally. Like to remove him completely from the project,″ she says. ″Because these issues with the city, they’re getting worse and worse because of him."
Victoria and Eckhardt have already fought over shady finances this season.
In the premiere, Victoria found out that the majority of the renovation budget for a different stalled project had already been paid out to Eckhardt's company without her knowledge.
She meets with a friend to discuss what appears to be the beginning of the end for the co-stars' professional relationship. ″We have twelve companies together because each house is a different LLC,″ she says. ″How do you get out of that? All of a sudden the dust starts to settle, you start seeing the light? I kept making up excuses.″
And in this week's episode, she lays out where she has to go from here: ″I’m just scrambling to keep my business from going under, scrambling to clear my name, to make things right."
Windy City Rehab airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on HGTV.
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