An impressive 220,000 square foot complex called Regal Mile Studios is expected to be built in Chicago this year and open next autumn.
Described as a “state-of-the-art media campus”, the site will include six sound stages, a gym, plus recreation and hospitality space on a six-acre property in South Side Chicago.
The privately funded project is owned by ID8 Ventures LLC and investment bank Loop CapitaI, with industry agency Gersh leading the negotiations, alongside partners, for the new development. Dakota Development, which has decades of experience building 5-star hotels, will construct the space.
Regal Mile Studios submitted its application for phase one entitlements earlier this year and is aiming to start construction in the autumn, with hopes of completing it by autumn 2022.
This is part of Mayor Lightfoot’s Invest South West Initiative with a focus on new development on the South Side. ID8 Ventures’ co-managing partners include Joseph Dabbah, Susan Cronin and Derek Dudley, a native of the city and a producer on Showtime series The Chi.
The project is expected to help employ hundreds of people in the area, providing an economic boost and fulfilling the need for more studio space in the city. The developers are also working with local schools to offer education about film and TV production to the community.
The city has been busy increasing its studio and production facilities, including the major Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, which is undergoing expansion. There are also three other soundstage projects in development as production space continues to be in high demand.
“We want to help make Chicago the Hollywood of the Midwest,” says Dudley.
Peter Hawley, deputy director of Illinois Film Office, adds: "In order to grow film and television production spending in Illinois to $1b a year, the single biggest need is for the addition of another studio complex. More studio space equals more productions, which leads to more jobs. The Illinois Film Office endorses the Regal Mile studio project.”