Couple seeks to block sale of ‘Windy City Rehab’ host’s Bucktown home

A couple suing the “Windy City Rehab” team over their “defective” Lincoln Square property filed an emergency motion Thursday for a temporary restraining order to prevent show host Alison Victoria Gramenos from selling her personal home as their lawsuit progresses.



a large brick building: The home at 2308 W. Giddings St. in the Lincoln Square neighborhood is involved in a lawsuit related to the team behind the popular HGTV series "Windy City Rehab."


© E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
The home at 2308 W. Giddings St. in the Lincoln Square neighborhood is involved in a lawsuit related to the team behind the popular HGTV series “Windy City Rehab.”

“The Morrisseys fear Ms. Gramenos is fraudulently attempting to sell and liquidate whatever equity she has in her personal home and transfer the funds to an LLC she co-owns with her boyfriend as a tactic to shield her personal assets from a judgment collection in the Morrisseys’ lawsuit,” the couple said in an emailed statement.

Gramenos’ attorney, Daniel Lynch, called Thursday’s filing “an unusual move to try to control the assets of a single party.” “Ms. Gramenos has worked to try to resolve their claims in good faith, but the Morrisseys make claims for damages against her to which they are not entitled. As to this latest effort, it will fail. Ms. Gramenos has acted properly and the court will not grant them relief,” Lynch said in a statement.

James and Anna Morrissey sued Gramenos, her former business partner Donovan Eckhardt and contractor Ermin Pajazetovic in December 2019 for fraud, claiming they were sold a $1.36 million home with a failing roof, poorly installed windows, deteriorating masonry and a shower that leaked through the kitchen ceiling below. The property, at 2308 W. Giddings St., was featured on the first season of “Windy City Rehab,” an HGTV series that follows Gramenos as she flips homes in Chicago. A judge ordered the Morrisseys and the “Windy City Rehab” team to undergo mediation, which reportedly failed.

Meanwhile, the second season of “Windy City Rehab” premiered last month and follows the breakdown of the business partnership between Gramenos and Eckhardt. Gramenos said she has been greatly affected by Eckhardt’s financial decisions. “Everything that I’ve ever made is gone 1/4 u201a” she said on Tuesday’s episode. “All my personal money has now been put into my business to pay to keep the projects going.”

Gramenos’ personal home in Bucktown — which she showed off last month on the “Today” show — was recently listed for $2.295 million. The Morrisseys noted in their Thursday filing that Gramenos and her boyfriend, Michael Marks, signed a quit claim deed in March to transfer ownership to AVMM Properties LLC, a company that features their initials.

Gramenos and Eckhardt are also facing fraud lawsuits from a Wicker Park couple who purchased a home featured on the first season of the show and investors who say they were not repaid properly. The city brought civil action over a few “Windy City Rehab” properties after finding alleged violations, though nearly all of these cases have been dismissed in the past few months.

Gramenos is shown meeting with Lynch on the Season 2 finale, which is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Tuesday. “I just filed my first lawsuit. I’m paying the office mortgage. I’m paying interest carry on two loans. I have people trying to sue me for the construction of the home, which I don’t do. Dealing with that, while you’re trying to separate from a man who doesn’t care, is gone. This is really just bad. It’s a bad place to be,” she said.

tswartz@tribpub.com

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