How HGTV Star Alison Victoria's Boyfriend Saved Her From Losing Millions

HGTV's "Windy City Rehab" is all about Alison Victoria's efforts to restore and revitalize the historic homes of Chicago. While the show is all about modernized properties and happy homebuyers on-screen, the behind-the-scenes reality isn't always as easy-going. 

Most fans know about the legal scandals that plagued "Windy City Rehab" during its first few seasons, but one renovation nearly landed Victoria in even more financial trouble. After investing over a million dollars into renovating a fourplex for a season 1 renovation, the HGTV star was unable to secure a buyer for the home, despite what the original episode conveyed to audiences. 

However, it's thanks to her boyfriend, Michael Marks, that she didn't lose out on a profit entirely. While an altered version of the original Season 1 episode reveals a much lower return than Victoria expected, it's still better than being in the negative. Here's everything we know about how Alison Victoria's boyfriend saved her from losing millions. 

The story behind Windy City Rehab's altered episode

In a season 1 episode of "Windy City Rehab," which can be streamed on HGTV or Max, Alison Victoria and her then-business partner Donovan Eckhardt tackled a fourplex in Chicago's Lincoln Park area. The property was purchased for $850,000, with the team putting in an additional $570,000 for renovation costs. While Victoria and Eckhardt did decide to maintain the four-unit layout of the property, they decided to install a washer and dryer unit and opted for high-ended finishes, which really stretched their budget.

As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, the original "Windy City Rehab" episode concluded with Victoria reporting that the Lincoln Park house sold for $2.2 million, resulting in a $740,000 profit. However, at some point, the on-screen graphic was changed to reflect a $1,567,000 selling point and a significantly lower profit of $147,000. There might've been a potential buyer that prompted the original price point that was featured, but that wasn't the deal that ended up going through in the end.

While the show wants to portray an easy-breezy renovation story with timely beats, the property was likely more difficult to sell than the "Windy City Rehab" hosts originally expected. Several months later, Victoria's boyfriend, Michael Marks, swept in to purchase the property, saving the HGTV star from being out nearly two million dollars.

All the details about Victoria's boyfriend-buyout

Alison Victoria began dating Michael Marks, the Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield real estate agency, after separating from her ex-husband Luke Harding in 2019. Since Victoria keeps the details of her personal life private, it's unclear if the couple has maintained a relationship in the years following the Lincoln Park drama, but they definitely had a connection at the time.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Marks purchased the fourplex property through an LLC listed as 2229 N. CLYBOURN AVE., LLC. In his email exchange with the outlet, he emphasized that the decision was made with consent from the company's stakeholders and that no effort was made to conceal the details of the purchase.

"I don't recall the exact details from their show, nor was I privy to other bids the ownership group received, but I do recall they felt it was sold to a different party at the time of airing," Marks shared with the paper, shedding some light on the original figures featured on the HGTV show. "I wasn't aware [of] that sale, or any other, [and] didn't end up closing until much later."