Chicago Residents Are Upset With Alison Victoria From ‘Windy City Rehab’ — Here’s Why
HGTV’s new home renovation series, Windy City Rehab follows designer extraordinaire Alison Victoria as she sets out to upgrade homes in Chicago’s most historic neighborhoods. But, despite her efforts to bring some of these vintage homes into the 21st-century (while paying tribute to their classic charm), some Chicago residents are angry with the home renovator and her projects. Find out why, ahead.
Who is Alison Victoria?
Windy City Rehab might be a new show for HGTV, but Alison Victoria has made a name for herself with past television projects such as Kitchen Crashers. The HGTV alumni — whose full name is Alison Victoria Gramenos — is a Chicago native who says it is her “dream” to upgrade homes in her hometown. That said, flipping houses in Chicago is quite a challenge with a side of financial risk.
“It’s my dream to flip houses in my hometown of Chicago,” she once told HGTV. “But renovating homes in this price point leaves a ton of money on the line. These are high-stakes projects that could spiral out of control at any minute. It’s big risks and big rewards,” she added.
In addition to Windy City Rehab, Alison owns her own design firm called Alison Victoria Interiors. The firm serves both the Chicago and Las Vegas area, where she went to college at University of Nevada Las Vegas and still splits her time. In Las Vegas, much of her work focuses on hotels and she has completed projects in the Silverton Hotel and Casino among others.
Despite her growing career and impressive restoration projects, Alison has had some issues with Chicago residents.
Chicago vs. ‘Windy City Rehab’
Alison Victoria might be upgrading some of Chicago’s most historic neighborhoods (think: Lincoln Park and Bucktown), but the city’s residents are not happy with the Windy City Rehab star. Residents living next door to one of her projects complained about the size of an addition added to one location. They told Block Club Chicago that the addition was “ruining the character of the block.”
Not everyone is upset about the change. Other neighbors have complained about Alison’s “lack of community outreach” and hazardous construction sites on one of her Thomas Street locations. “We were not notified when they worked on the roof. This created hazardous conditions for not just us and our dog, but anyone in our yard. They routinely threw debris from the roof without letting us know or out of the front of the house. The debris included nails, old beam straps made of iron, wood, and metal shrapnel,” one Ukranian Village resident told Chicago Tribune. The resident even went so far as to create a petition and received over two dozen signatures from neighbors.
Despite the drama, Alison seems confident that she can win some of her toughest critics over. “I think if everybody — not if — when everybody sees what our finished project is, like, for instance this [renovation] on Thomas, we’re getting people coming up saying how beautiful it is and ‘wow,’ instead of eight, nine months ago where they were signing a petition,” she explained, adding that the neighbors are “so sweet to us now.”
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