Noah Properties’ city building license yanked for electrical violations

The developer and its partner contractor were found to have installed “hazardous” electrical wiring in new homes

The site of the new houses, shown on Google Maps from when foundation was dug last year
The site of the new houses, shown on Google Maps from when foundation was dug last year

The city’s buildings department is suspending Noah Properties’ real estate developer’s license over shoddy wiring that was installed by an unlicensed electrician at four of its newly-built homes.

A notice from the Chicago Department of Buildings dated Aug. 17 told Noah principal Bart Przyjemski and a contractor with A.L.L. Builders that an inspection earlier this month found a “hazardous” temporary electrical system behind a new house in the 6500 block of West Dickens Avenue. An “exposed live electrical cable was looped from building to building” to illegally connect power to three other houses in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood, the document continued.

City buildings officials issued a stop work order on the houses, cut off their electrical service and ordered occupants to vacate the homes.

Buildings department records show a permit was issued for electrical wiring at the Dickens Avenue house on Aug. 10, four days after the inspector was said to have visited.

The suspension is set to take effect Monday, though the developer has until then to request a hearing with the buildings department to contest the it.

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Tyler Manic, an attorney representing Noah Properties, wrote in an email that the “matters raised in the notice have been resolved,” but did not specify which violations, or whether the suspension was overturned.

A city official said that a partial occupancy permit has been issued for one of the four buildings, but violations remain on all four properties.

Founded by Przyjemski and Anita Lisek in 2002, Noah lists dozens of single-family homes and multi-unit residential buildings in its portfolio, most of them on the city’s red-hot Near Northwest Side.

A couple sued the company last year, alleging defects in the HVAC system and windows of the Wicker Park condo they bought for $650,000 in 2014. The suit, which remains underway, which spurred Noah to file its own legal complaint against A.L.L. Builders. The city also sued the developer for building violations, then backed off when the violations were addressed.

The city’s Aug. 17 notice described an Aug. 7 meeting between city buildings inspectors and Noah Properties, during which the electrician who had been permitted to work on the Dickens Avenue property said he had not handled any of the wiring there. Instead, a man who said “he is not a licensed electrician” and “is not employed by a supervising electrical contractor” installed the system “at the direction of Bart Przyjemski,” the city document reads.

The city cited seven explicit violations that led to Noah’s license suspension, including one saying the company and associated contractor “performed or directed work that poses an immediate or imminent threat to the health and safety of workers or the public.”