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Condos to be built on site of Al Capone HQ

July 28, 2006 at 5:45 PM

CHICAGO, July 28 (UPI) -- Developers plan to build a 35-story condominium tower on the site of the Chicago hotel that once served as Al Capone's headquarters.

The developers include the Chieftain Group, an Irish consortium making its first venture in the United States, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The group's plans include the tower with 297 condominiums and a seven-story building with 36 lofts.

The Lexington Hotel lasted for just over a century. It opened in 1892 for the World's Columbian Exposition, and President Grover Cleveland was one of its first guests.

Capone moved into the hotel in 1925 and used it as his headquarters until he went to prison in 1931. The hotel went downhill, including a period as a brothel, before it was demolished in 1995.

According to legend, Capone had secret passages and rooms in the hotel in addition to his fifth-floor suite. The Lexington had a final act in 1986 when Geraldo Rivera opened a vault on live television -- revealing nothing much.

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