Wicker Park condo building under legal siege amid claims of hazardous conditions

Noah Properties is being sued by former buyers who said the HVAC system threatened their health

Clockwise from left: 1258 North Milwaukee Avenue, Anita Lisek, & Bart Przyjemski (Credit: Noah Properties Chicago)
Clockwise from left: 1258 North Milwaukee Avenue, Anita Lisek, & Bart Przyjemski (Credit: Noah Properties Chicago)

As a legal battle over alleged shoddy work at a Wicker Park condo building winds through court, an insurance company is working to make sure it is not liable for the builder and developer’s legal woes.

At issue is the six-unit condo development at 1258 North Milwaukee Avenue, which was found to have severe building defects in the HVAC system, windows and roof. Last year, Edgar Bernal and Lisa Sromek, a couple who bought a condo in the building, sued developer Noah Properties and A.L.L. Builders, claiming that they had produced a unit that posed significant health risks to the couple.

That lawsuit has spurred multiple other suits, including Noah Properties suing A.L.L builders for faulty work, and the city suing the developer over code violations (the complaint was dropped when the violations were addressed). Now insurance company Nautilus, which insured A.L.L. Builders during the time of the project, is asking a Cook County judge not to hold it accountable for any verdicts leveled against the builders or developers, according to a recently filed suit.

Bernal and Sromek in 2014 agreed to pay $650,000 for a unit in the building near Milwaukee and Division. After city inspectors cleared the building for occupancy and a private home inspector gave the unit the OK, the couple moved in — only to find major construction defects that multiple inspections had missed, according to their lawsuit.

One of the biggest problems was the heating and cooling system, which was inadequate to heat the house and wasn’t properly insulated, meaning carbon monoxide could potentially make it into the condo, according to the suit. Poor installation of windows allowed for the accumulation of frost and moisture on the inside, among a number of other building defects, according to the lawsuit.

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Those defects have been addressed, an attorney for Noah Properties told CBS2 last year. Still, the lawsuits drag on.

The principals of Noah Properties did not immediately return a request for comment.

Noah Properties is a prolific Chicago-based homebuilder that has constructed modern-looking homes in Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park and other North Side neighborhoods.

The husband-and-wife duo behind Noah Properties, Anita Lisek and Bart Pryzjemski, in 2014 paid $3.15 million for a Gold Coast mansion that they gutted, rehabbed and eventually sold to a Red Bull heir for $7.5 million, according to Curbed.

This year, the couple paid $3.15 million for another Gold Coast mansion that the company will look to flip, according to the Chicago Tribune. The couple also paid $3.5 million for the historic former Pabst minion in Glencoe, which they will keep for themselves, the newspaper reported.