Historic - and haunted? Fox Lake hotel for sale again
The landmark Mineola Hotel on the shores of Fox Lake -- a onetime hangout for Chicago mobster Al Capone and his crew -- is back on the market with a $5.5 million asking price.
Brokers Paul Proano and Edward Dingman of Coldwell Banker Commercial in Chicago confirmed the listing, but declined further comment at the request of the property's owners. According to the online listing, the owners of the 15.5-acre property are retiring from operating a marina on the site and have decided to sell.
The 135-year-old hotel, closed since the 1960s, previously went up for sale in 2012 via the online auction site eBay, but no one submitted the minimum $2 million bid sought. Its owners tried again in 2017, seeking $7 million for the property, before pulling it off the market.
Besides the hotel and marina, the property includes a bar and restaurant that closed in 2012 and a single-family home. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior and Parks, but the designation would not prevent redevelopment.
The listing states the property is being marketed as a waterfront condo/hotel development on the last remaining large parcel on the Chain O' Lakes. Possibilities include a condo/marina development or a hotel with gambling and a restaurant/banquet center, according to the marketing brochure.
Along with its history as a retreat for organized crime figures, the Mineola has a reputation as a haunted house in paranormal circles. Ghost hunters who've toured the shuttered building have claimed to hear voices from within.
The renewed effort to sell the shuttered hotel and its surrounding 15.5 acres is raising hopes for new development among village and business community leaders.
"I would love to see it redeveloped as a waterfront hotel," said Pat Smarto, president of the Fox Lake Richmond Spring Grove Area Chamber of Commerce. "It would bring more people from outside the area who will eat here, buy gas here, possibly even buy a boat."
It also would expose more visitors to the Chain and its offerings.
"I'm always surprised when there's a person who lives within 50 miles and doesn't know that this (the Chain) exists," Smarto said.
Fox Lake Village Administrator Anne Marrin said officials were notified that the hotel was up for sale again, but otherwise have not been approached about future plans for the property.
"We hope it does sell and someone can restore it," Marrin said. "That would be our top priority for it. It has such a rich history in this community."