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Project on the former site of Purple Hotel to have an Amazon Fresh store, apartments

But based in Chicago Tucker Development, which jumped about three years ago, accomplished what other developers couldn’t. Tucker lined up a financial partner, Los Angeles-based AECOM-Canyon Partners, and a $101 million construction loan from Pacific Western Bank, also based in Los Angeles, Tucker CEO Richard Tucker said. Construction is underway and is expected to be completed in 2023.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Tucker said. “We’re way ahead.”

The project will also receive major financial assistance from the Village of Lincolnwood, which approved a $31 million tax increment funding grant in 2019.

The project at the corner of Lincoln and Touhy Avenues will include the Amazon Fresh store and 40,000 square feet of additional retail space on the ground floor. Two restaurants, Fatpour Tap Works and Fat Rosie’s, have leased about 15,000 square feet. Potential tenants for the remaining 25,000 square feet include fitness concepts, service retailers and more restaurants, Tucker said.

“We’ve had a lot more interest now that we’ve paved the way,” he said.

The Purple Hotel site has generated a lot of interest over the years, but not always of the good kind. Known for its bright purple facade, the hotel, which opened in 1960, was fashionable for a time, hosting celebrities such as Barry Manilow and Roberta Flack, who performed there.

But many people remember it as the place where notorious mob associate Allen Dorfman was gunned down in 1983 and political fixer Stuart Levine ran marathons with a cornucopia of sex and drugs. The hotel closed in 2007 and was razed in 2013.

Other developers drew up plans to redevelop the site, but legal and financial setbacks, including a stint in bankruptcy court, got in the way. Tucker stepped in in 2018.

Tucker named the District 1860 project after Abraham Lincoln, for whom Lincolnwood is named. Lincoln was first elected president in 1860.

Tucker pursued the project in part because of its “phenomenal” location at a busy intersection. On average, 45,000 cars pass through Touhy daily and 15,000 pass through Lincoln daily. This should attract retailers, as well as the apartments above, which should provide an integrated customer base. On the other hand, Amazon Fresh and restaurants are amenities that could help rent the apartments in the project.

“It’s an urban activity environment in a suburban market,” Tucker said.

The development site also includes a plot along Lincoln for a future hotel. Tucker would hire a hotel developer to build the hotel rather than do it alone.

“We’re already in discussions with a few different players,” Tucker said.