LINCOLNWOOD, IL — Construction has begun on the mixed-use development planned for the site of Lincolnwood’s infamous former Purple Hotel.
Dubbed District 1860, the redevelopment project will include 299 residential units, an Amazon Fresh grocery store and more than 40,000 square feet of additional rental retail and restaurant space, according to its backers.
Representatives of Highland Park-based Tucker Development and AECOM-Canyon Partners, itself a joint venture formed by two Southern California firms, announced on Monday that the partnership was struck on a construction loan.
Commercial space in the new development, which is expected to be completed in 2023, is already 65% pre-let, according to a joint statement from the developers.
“We are thrilled to partner with AECOM-Canyon on this dynamic and transformative project,” said Richard Tucker, of Tucker Development, in the release. “We would like to thank the Village of Lincolnwood and Mayor Jesal Patel for their strong and unwavering support of District 1860.”
Tucker previously identified the two restaurants that are slated for the site like local chains Fat Rosie’s Taco and Tequila Bar and Fat Pour Tap Works, according to the Lincolnwood Review. The developer also told Crain’s Chicago Business that the name District 1860 is a reference to the year the village’s namesake was first elected.
The Purple Hotel opened in 1962 as a Hyatt but later became known for organized crime and debauchery.
It was torn down in 2013 after it was bought by North Capital Group, whose director Zvi Feiner faces federal fraud charges following allegations that he used his position as a rabbi to lead a fraud scheme. Ponzi targeting members of the Orthodox Jewish community.
The redevelopment of the site is the subject of a dispute in federal court. Lake Forest Real Estate Investors, which had been under contract to buy the site, sued the village and former mayor Barry Bass in 2019, alleging Bass had “greased the slippages” in favor of longtime associate Tucker.
The village lawyers succeeded in obtaining certain counts of the complaint fired and have asked a judge to rule in favor of the village on the remaining issue – an alleged violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection guarantee.
In a filing in court last week, a lawyer for the former buyer of the abandoned contract alleged that village officials refused to meet with the developer despite repeated requests, ignored information he provided and allowed Tucker to pursue a much less developed plan.
“Particularly in the face of a code of ethics that prohibits the favoritism of Bass,” he said, “a reasonable public official would find the intentional disparate treatment of Bass illegal. easily apparent.”