Infamous Purple Hotel to become retail complex - FOX 32 News Chicago

Infamous Purple Hotel to become retail complex

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There are plans for a major makeover at the site of one of the most infamous mob hits in Chicago history. A development company recently purchased Lincolnwood's famous "Purple Hotel", and plans to make it the anchor of a new restaurant and retail complex. The building has sat empty for five years.

"It'll be attractive, and because it has such great heritage with having this iconic structure behind it, it should do pretty well," Mayor Gerald Turry said.

Part of that heritage is rooted in Chicago Outfit history. Teamsters lawyer Allen Dorfman was gunned down by two men in the Purple Hotel's parking lot in January of 1983. The month before, Dorfman was convicted along with Chicago Outfit leader Joey "The Clown" Lombardo of trying to bribe a Nevada U.S. Senator, as part of the mob's takeover of several Las Vegas casinos.

Art Bilek of the Chicago Crime Commission was a detective who worked dozens of mob cases. He says Dorfman was assassinated because the Outfit feared he'd talk to get a lighter sentence.

"Of course he was going to talk. There was no question about it, so he had to go," Bilek said.

Now, nearly 30 years later, the Purple Hotel may soon be back in business. But, it may have one more mob story to tell, first. The new owners say they've been contacted by location scouts for the FOX series "The Mob Doctor" about possibly using the hotel in an upcoming episode.

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