Could “Windy City Rehab”become “Atlanta Rehab”?
It certainly seemed like a possibility on this week’s episode as host Alison Victoria called in her brother, Jamie Gramenos, to help her remodel an Atlanta loft. With hopes of a quick turnaround, and a tight budget this all-in family project could become a complete disaster. It worked.
“I don’t know where I want to live.”
Victoria shared that she felt at crossroads and uncertain about her future. The snowy Chicago photos suggested that she might be ready for Chicago to go. After visiting friends who live in a new loft in Atlanta the designer decided to stay longer and think about buying a condo.
Victoria turned to her brother when she needed investment funds.
“You want to get involved in business with me again?” Gramenos asked. Their last project, a house built in Las Vegas before the 2008 recession hit, was a huge loss of money.
The siblings tackled a loft with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Located in a converted textile mill from the late 1800s — the ninth oldest building in the city, according to the show — the property itself consisted of several separate buildings containing rehabbed lofts but maintained some of the industrial components, such as smokestacks and a water tower. Victoria’s intended property boasted a top-floor view with over 1,800 square feet of space.
Gramenos met Gramenos in Atlanta to take a tour of the property. Although Gramenos said he would invest 50-50, he insisted on sticking to a $100,000 renovation plan. “[is] fully expecting”She will surpass that number. Victoria smiled and said that she hoped to complete the project in four to six months.
“At this point in time,”She crowed. “any investment I’m making is a sure bet.”
Victoria first met Ali, a general contractor, to discuss her loft plan. She had a vision of moving the spiral staircase and extending 350-square-feet above the kitchen’s mezzanine floor. She also wanted to raise half the walls around the primary suite in order to enclose it. The suite would also have “the biggest”Victoria gushed about Victoria’s walk-in closet. There is also a huge bathroom.
But there’s a catch, the contractor said. Atlanta building codes prohibit mezzanine covering more than half of the space below. This is because the floor could block sprinklers in case there is a fire. Victoria met Kenny the architect, who promised to do all the math and submit the plans to the city Department of Buildings.
“This is the hard part because until we truly know from the architect what we’re able to get in there, we can’t make many plans,” Victoria explained.
After receiving notes from the city Kenny called Victoria, who was back in Chicago, to share the bad news. The mezzanine had its half walls closed and the floor couldn’t be extended beyond 200 square feet.
“The price per square foot is for some of the most recent sales in that building are right around $360 a square foot,”Victoria is bemoaned. “I lose 150 square feet. Times that by $360 a square foot. That’s $54,000. That’s $54,000 that my brother and I won’t be getting.”
Victoria modified the plan three months later, but still without a permit. The mezzanine floor was now 8 feet long, while the bathroom and closet remained the same. To save money, she replaced the cabinets she was planning to build with cabinets she had in her Chicago office.
Finally, the city delivered the permit, and Ali’s team built the new mezzanine addition. Victoria noticed that the sprinkler pipe was running directly through the closet doors. This prevented them from closing perfectly. Ali stated that it would be $4,000 to reroute this pipe.
“I just had a mini heart attack,”Victoria said this after hearing the news. Victoria and Victoria decided to trim the closet doors, and move the opening below the pipe.
For the kitchen range hood — “the artwork of the kitchen” — and a newel post and finial for the staircase, Victoria enlisted the help of Janke Glass Studios in Atlanta. She chose a black range with punched holes and a glass post.
The final project was the window treatments. Geeta, from Uptown Drapes, was able to help her choose long white drapes or black-out roller shades for her nearly floor-to ceiling windows. To add privacy, they chose tracked drapery for the mezzanine.
Gramenos returned from Atlanta to reveal the big reveal. He walked into the unit and noticed the museum-style lighting, which highlighted the artwork and made the narrow hallway seem larger. Before moving into the main space, he viewed the second bedroom, and the bathroom, which had been repainted and styled.
“I was really trying to achieve a very neutral look with this design so everybody would love being in this space,”Victoria told her brother.
The kitchen and living area were repainted with white paint. Victoria excitedly pointed out several things as they walked by. “moments,”Her brother was able to see the striking designs in the loft. He was attracted to the gold cabinets and the hood in the kitchen.
“My sister’s done hundreds of kitchens in her career,” Gramenos said. “This one knocked me off my feet.”
Gramenos was struck by the barn doors that framed the bathroom’s standing tub and gilded reflection upstairs. The doors were called the “The Designer’s Door”. “most beautiful” ones she’d ever found.
Gramenos revealed that $220,000 was spent on renovations, in addition to the $494,000 purchase price and $20,000 for holding costs. He estimated that they could sell the property for $880,000.
The end came a year later. rehabVictoria and Gramenos made the decision to keep the property, as they felt that prices were rising. They also planned to use it for a family home.