Oak Park Condo Owners Say Repair Work Has Gone Nowhere After More Than A Year And A Half, Despite Hefty Fees To Contractor

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OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Some condo owners in Oak Park knew a repair project would take some time – but after nearly two years and $100,000, they say they have absolutely nothing.

CBS 2’s Meredith Barack sought out some answers Monday night.

“We’re standing in my condo,” said Verlis Thomas. “It’s looked like this since June 23rd of 2020.”

Thomas’ condo has exposed studs, unfinished walls, and sheets of plastic in doorways.

On June 23, 2020, a pipe burst in the roof of Thomas’ condo building on Chicago Avenue in Oak Park. All eight units, including Thomas’ – which she was in the middle of renovating – were deemed uninhabitable.

A company, J.C. Restoration, was hired to gut the building, and eventually restore each unit.

But now, more than a year and a half later, none of the additional work has happened – despite J.C. Restoration receiving a hefty deposit for the work.

“We gave them $100,000 that they’re sitting on of our money,” Thomas said.

Laura Pulido, who also lives in the building, says they were told the work would be complete last summer.

That was when a water main, owned by the Village of Oak Park and connected to the building, burst in the basement – delaying the work even further.

“If they don’t want to work with us, it’s OK,” Pulido said. “We just need to go back home.”

Pulido and her family have lived three different places – including a hotel – since this all began.

“30 And all our stuff is in storage,” Pulido said. “Everything is in boxes.”

All of this comes as some residents are still paying their mortgages. Pulido, Thomas, and others who live in the condo building say they feel as though they are getting the runaround from J.C. Restoration.

Despite the lack of answers, we checked – and the company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. They also remain active on social media, posting about other projects.

“We just want to see that someone is doing something,” Pulido said. “A wall, dry wall – I don’t know, the materials. Bring the materials. Let me know that you’re going to start.”

CBS 2’s Barack called the project manager with J.C. Restoration who is in charge of the work that is supposed to be taking place here. When Barack told him who she was, he simply said, “No comment.”

“Either give us our money back – all of our money back – and let us go with someone else – with all the drawings from the architect; the money that we’ve paid out – and let us go from there so we can live our lives and be back in our places,” said Thomas.

J.C. Restoration did eventually issue a statement to us Monday night, saying in part there are several factors that caused delays to the reconstruction that did not involve the company.

Right now, the project is awaiting permit issuance from the Village of Oak Park.

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