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Purple Hotel plans spiked; wrecking ball looms in Lincolnwood

The Purple Hotel Touhy Lincoln Avenue Lincolnwood 2006.  |  Sun-Times Medifiles

The Purple Hotel, at Touhy and Lincoln Avenue in Lincolnwood, in 2006. | Sun-Times Media files

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Updated: May 17, 2013 12:47AM

The Purple Hotel’s days may be numbered once again, as plans to use the colorful building as an anchor for new development in Lincolnwood have sunk.

On Wednesday, developers North Capital Group withdrew a proposal to the village of Lincolnwood for the site’s redevelopment, Village Manager Tim Wiberg said.

The village’s Plan Commission was scheduled to discuss the planned-unit development application — which detailed plans to rehab the iconic hotel at 4500 W. Touhy Ave. and surround it with retail, offices and a spa — next Wednesday.

Instead, North Capital Group has opted to make an announcement at Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting.

Wiberg would not confirm the building’s demolition is imminent but said, “logic would dictate it sure looks like they’re changing plans.”

Crain’s Chicago Business reported Thursday that North Capital Group is planning to raze the hotel and build an entirely new project at the site.

North Capital Group and Skokie developer Jake Weiss purchased the 8.5-acre site at auction for $8.3 million just over a year ago.

The village had been planning to bulldoze the mold-infested property until Weiss stepped in with ambitious plans to refurbish the building into a 271-room boutique hotel with 40,000 square feet of banquet room and convention space.

Weiss’ year-and-a-half effort to preserve the Purple Hotel included striking an agreement with the village to halt demolition by sticking to a timetable for development.

Wiberg said withdrawal of the application technically gives the village permission to bulldoze the area if officials deemed fit.

However, if the developer “plans to do it, there’s no need for the village to spend dollars,” Wiberg said.

Weiss could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Despite not knowing what the new plans for the site entail, Trustee Jesal Patel Sr. said he is excited that the developer continues to move the project along.

Patel said while Lincolnwood’s “great retail corridor” would be enhanced with the addition of a hotel, “whatever they get developed, it’s still progress.”

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