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Lincolnwood officials scramble to get hotel on former Purple Hotel site – Chicago Tribune

As construction continues at the 1860 Lincolnwood District site – also known as the site of the former Purple Hotel – village officials said they still want developer Tucker Development to build a hotel, in accordance to the original site map. However, questions remain about how to fund such a venture.

Village administrators received a brief update on the status of the District 1860 site during a June 7 full committee meeting. After years of inactivity, construction began last year at the northwest corner of Touhy and Lincoln Avenues on the planned mixed-use development highlighted by a nearly 300-unit apartment building, a Amazon Fresh grocery store and two restaurants.

Master developer Tucker Development’s original proposal also featured a dual-brand hotel. However, last year hotel developer First Hospitality dropped out, pointing to the downturn in the hospitality industry caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But village officials still want a hotel on the site where the legendary Purple Hotel once stood before its demolition in August 2013.

“We are well located close to town and the airport and it’s a good amenity to have and it’s a good revenue generator for the village,” Mayor Jesal Patel said in an interview. Patel said he envisions a hotel of around 160 rooms, smaller than the approximately 220 rooms offered by First Hospitality.

Patel, Administrator Chris Martel and Village Attorney Steve Elrod met with representatives from Tucker Development to discuss funding options.

Patel indicated that a still-unnamed developer is in place specifically for the hotel and that they are looking for an incentive package where the developer would receive a portion of the village sales tax revenue.

“We’re working hard to make sure we keep this path to development open,” Patel said.

Patel said the village council questioned Tucker about the feasibility of a rooftop restaurant with a bar. Council members also asked about the construction of a garage at the base of the building.

Village manager Anne Marie Gaura told the full committee meeting that a financial analysis of the District 1860 project would be presented to council, possibly as early as the June 21 meeting.

Gina Speckman, executive director of the Chicago North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau, tourism and promotion agency, thinks a hotel would do well in Lincolnwood.

“Recovering from COVID, people are traveling and we have a lot of visits that include friends, family and hobbies, which is a good fit for a limited-service property,” she said. “Especially as we approach a recovery period, adding new room supply is not something that hotels currently in the market would like, but overall demand will continue to increase and I would prefer to have new properties in our service area rather than those bordering our area,” she said. “If you try to stop people from building in your area, they’re building near it, which doesn’t help our municipalities.