NOTE: This story contains spoilers from Tuesday night’s episode.
“This is the beginning of the end,” designer Alison Victoria foreshadows of her beleaguered partnership with contractor Donovan Eckhardt in the latest episode of “Windy City Rehab,” airing at 8 p.m. Tuesday on HGTV. It’s the dramatic twist that has been teased for months as the dubious business relationship has played out since the home renovation series debuted in 2019.
The show’s stars have continually been at the center of countless lawsuits, neighborhood complaints and stop-work orders from the city of Chicago on a number of the dozen-plus properties they have acquired with the intent to rehab and sell to local buyers.
But now in the fourth episode of Season Two, Victoria seems to mean it when it comes to finally dissolving the partnership. At the crux of the episode is a tension-filled “all-hands-on-deck” business meeting with Eckhardt, contractor Ermin Pajazetovic and Victoria’s director of purchasing/business manager where the four go “line by line” over financial statements to uncover some of the potential budget issues with a very ’80s-inspired two-level, four-bed, three-bath condo they’ve have under construction at 200 E. Delaware Place in the Gold Coast neighborhood.
“There’s so many money issues on projects and so many questions I have … I have to get the answers. I just want to know where the money is going,” Victoria asserts. After internal audits allegedly reveal that Eckhardt invoiced for $180,000 in payments to a pair of his companies, Victoria notes that is “nearly half the renovation budget.”
When pressed about the early payouts — which negates an alleged operating agreement between Eckhardt and Victoria to split profits 50/50 upon completion of the project and sale of the residences — Eckhardt claims he invoiced for “general conditions,” including time dealing with