Mixed-use redevelopment of Purple Hotel progresses

Project will bring 299 apartments, 80,000sf of retail to Lincolnwood

Barry Manilow with the Purple Hotel
Barry Manilow with the Purple Hotel (Getty, Tucker Development)

A Residence Inn by Marriott and a Springhill Suites will be part of the complex replacing the Lincolnwood corner lot where the infamous Purple Hotel stood for more than 50 years.

Tucker Development bought the 8.25-acre site at 4500 Touhy Avenue in 2019 with promises to build a residential development with retail space, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The new development includes 299 apartments and 80,000-square-feet of retail, among it an Amazon Fresh store.

Dubbed District 1860 to honor Abraham Lincoln’s election year, the development is estimated to cost about $175 million. To get all parties to agree to the project, Lincolnwood approved subsidies from part of the property and sales tax revenues generated from it.

For half a century, the site was home to the Purple Hotel, which started out as an up-scale Hyatt with live entertainers like Barry Manilow and later became a seedy meeting place for “swingers” events and drug-fueled parties. Tired of the frequent commotion and police calls, the village of Lincolnwood shut it down in 2007. Court battles delayed demolition until 2013.

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The project was further delayed when Tucker’s original hotel partner walked away from the deal as demand for suburban lodging dwindled during the pandemic. Lakhani Hospitality came on board and reworked the design to reduce the number of rooms to 150 and divide it between the two operators.

The village of Lincolnwood pledged up to $3.4 million, which will come from the village’s hotel tax, to Lakhani for construction costs. Village attorney Steven Elrod said the village board will discuss raising the town’s hotel tax to 9 percent from 7 percent.

Victoria Pruitt