Suburban Chicago’s Purple Hotel Slated for Redevelopment

Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc. and TMK Development Ltd. have unveiled plans to acquire and redevelop the Purple Hotel in the suburb of Lincolnwood, Ill., just north of Chicago. The mixed-use project, known as Legacy Place, may include as much as 800,000 square feet of residential, retail, office and hotel space. The plan includes over 100,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space, a health club and a movie theater, more than 200 condominiums or apartment units, a 350-room boutique hotel, and about 40,000 square feet of office space. Construction is expected to begin in 2009. The Purple Hotel, which sports a distinctive purple exterior, dates from 1960 and was under various flags in the 47 years it was open. Locally it is also known as the site of an unsolved gangland murder in its parking lot in 1983. The dilapidated structure closed as a hotel in early 2007, and plans for its purchase and redevelopment by another buyer later that year fell through. According to Inland, though the building itself will be demolished as part of the redevelopment, the site plan includes a fountain and monument that will incorporate colorful bricks from the Purple Hotel’s current façade. The idea is to commemorate generations of weddings, graduation parties, bar mitzvahs and other celebrations the hotel has hosted over the years, thus tapping into the nostalgia many area residents feel for the unusually-hued property. Oak Brook, Ill.-based Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc. is the purchasing arm for various entities that are a part of the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies Inc., which is one of the largest retail landlords in the country. TMK, headquartered in Bannockburn, Ill., has completed a number of retail projects in the Chicago area, including the Village Square in Northbrook, the Shops at Oak Brook Place and the Shops at Orchard Place, and a total of 2.5 million square feet of retail properties nationwide. The redevelopment of the Purple Hotel isn’t the first JV for Inland and TMK. Another project of theirs is Savanah Crossing, a 56-acre, mixed-use site in west suburban Aurora, Ill., anchored by a Super Wal-Mart.”On the surface of things, it might not seem like the right time to take on a project like this,” Joe Cosenza, president of Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc., told CPN this afternoon. “But this is a classic infill location, and we’ve already had a lot of inquiries from ponential tenents, even before we’ve started marketing. There’s a strong demand for this kind of product, in this location, even in this economy.”