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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

‘Windy City Rehab’ Did Not Rehab The Old Miko’s Italian Ice Building. But You Can — It’s For Sale

Miko’s Italian Ice sold its Bucktown two-flat after 21 years in the neighborhood. Now, it's vacant, gutted and selling for $999,000.

Windy City Rehab co-hosts Alison Victoria and Donovan Eckhardt bought Bucktown's old Miko's Italian Ice building in February. City officials halted work at the site on May 31.
Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago
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BUCKTOWN — About a year after buying the old Miko’s Italian Ice building, the Windy City Rehab team has listed the two-flat for sale — for someone else to rehab.

The property at 1846 N. Damen Ave. was listed on Redfin Tuesday for $999,000. Its owner, Alison Victoria Gramenos, bought the property in February 2019 for $949,000.

Gramenos and HGTV’s Windy City Rehab team typically fix up and flip properties they purchase, but after being scolded by the city for a litany of work violations, the Bucktown building was put up for sale without the overhaul.

At the end of the day, neighbors lost Miko’s Italian Ice, a beloved family-owned business.

The two-flat, which has been gutted based on Redfin photos, is zoned for ground floor retail and two residential units, said Vincent Anzalone, a realtor with Dream Town Realty.

The sale price includes permits and construction plans pre-approved by the Chicago Department of Buildings, Anzalone said.

Credit: Redfin / Provided

Anzalone would not share the approved building plans, saying his client did not want to disclose them or comment on the sale.

The listing comes amid a wave of recent legal drama for Gramenos, who is the star of the hit HGTV show.

In January, a Lincoln Square couple who bought a Windy City Rehab home at 2308 W. Giddings St. filed a lawsuit claiming their home has been plagued by “leaks and shoddy work,” the Sun-Times reported.

In February, Gramenos filed a lawsuit accusing a notary public of forging her signature on bank loans and other important documents, the Sun-Times reported.

Gramenos has teased Season 2 of Windy City Rehab on her Instagram account, but HGTV has yet to announce an official air date.

Credit: Instagram / Provided

Gramenos and her co-host Donovan Eckhardt bought the Miko’s Italian Ice building for $949,000.

They took out a mortgage of $1.234 million under the name Alovan LLC (a portmanteau of Alison and Donovan), Chicago Magazine reported.

Credit: Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago/HGTV
The developer behind HGTV’s Windy City Rehab is banned from getting new city building permits for a year.

The following month, Miko’s closed its Bucktown two-flat after 21 years in the neighborhood. 

Credit: Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago
Miko’s Italian Ice co-owner Zach Roombos stands inside his family’s Logan Square shop, located at 2236 N. Sacramento Ave.

Miko’s co-owner Zach Roombos told Block Club Chicago his family had been approached with an offer they couldn’t refuse. 

“It’s sad to leave, but at the same time the real estate values in Bucktown [are tough],” he said at the time. 

RELATED: Beloved Miko’s Italian Ice Bids Farewell To Bucktown After Family Sells Building

On May 31, the city issued a Stop Work Order on the Miko’s property after city inspectors discovered a litany of code violations at properties being rehabbed for the TV show.

In total, the city issued 12 Stop Work Orders to properties associated with the TV show.

Credit: Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago
Windy City Rehab co-hosts Alison Victoria and Donovan Eckhardt bought Bucktown’s old Miko’s Italian Ice building in February. City officials halted work at the site on May 31.

By January of this year, most of the Stop Work Orders have been lifted. Gramenos has been allowed to resume work — but only at the discretion of city officials.

Across Wicker Park, Bucktown and Ukrainian Village, Windy City Rehab projects have drawn the ire of neighbors. 

RELATED: Chicago Stops ‘Windy City Rehab’ Work In Ukrainian Village — Again

In August 2018, Ukrainian Village resident Miriam Ruiz protested construction of a Windy City Rehab project at 2123 W. Thomas St. by starting a petition and meeting with Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd). 

“It’s ruining the character of the block,” Ruiz said at the time. 

“They are going to sell it, flip it and they’re gone,” said Miriam’s husband Tony Ruiz.

Credit: Hannah Alani / Block Club Chicago
The Department of Buildings issued a building permit to Windy City Rehab star Alison Victoria Gramenos for work at 1815 W. Augusta Blvd.

RELATED: HGTV Renovation Is ‘Ruining’ Our Backyard Views, Ukrainian Village Neighbors Say

In March of last year, neighbors of a Windy City Rehab home at 1929 N. Leavitt St. told the Sun-Times that construction crews had “swept in like they owned the block.”

Neither Gramenos nor spokespeople for HGTV have responded to multiple requests for comment. 

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