Chicago's The Field Studios set to be city's largest combined production complex

The site boasts nine sound stages on two lots, totalling 132,000 sq ft of sound stages and over 350,000 sq ft of creative and production offices

By Priyanca Rajput 24 May 2023

Chicago's The Field Studios set to be city's largest combined production complex
Credit: The Fields Studio

Chicago, Illinois will soon welcome The Fields Studios – the city’s first purpose-built and, to date, largest film and TV production complex. 

Expected to open in the first quarter of 2024, the complex boasts nine sound stages on two lots totalling 132,000 sq ft of sound stages and over 350,000 sq ft of creative and production offices, plus mill and support space. The Fields Studios offers the largest sound stage in Chicago and is the latest addition to the mixed-use redevelopment of the 20+acre, 1.5m-sq ft former Marshall Fields warehouse property on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

Knickpoint Ventures conceptualised The Fields Studios to ensure an optimal environment to meet the creative, logistical and functional demands of modern content manufacturing. Nine sound stages, eight NC-30 rated sound stages, ranging from 12,000 to 18,000 square feet, plus a 5,000-square-foot stage ideal for commercial shoots, music videos, and other smaller productions, will offer varying flexible stage configurations designed with fully collapsible interior stage doors that can create a 36,000-square-foot stage with ceiling heights up to 35 feet to the grids. It also marks the largest combined sound stage in Chicago.

The sound stages will have silent air and heat, ample stage power, major bandwidth and more. The studio campus will have approximately 150,000 sq ft of support and mill space for surface-level base camp areas for production vehicles, multiple mills, support space for all production departments, dressing rooms and surrounding land for future back lot construction. There also will be acres of parking for base camp and personnel.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the state’s commitment to the growth of the local film business by introducing a development subsidy to spur the growth of additional, critical sound stage infrastructure such as The Fields Studios. “The Fields Studios is an important driver of jobs and revenue for the city and the state, and further elevates Illinois’ position as a viable and desirable production option for the entertainment industry. We welcome Knickpoint Ventures’ innovative approach, industry expertise and commitment to Chicago and its meaningful addition to our film production capacity,” said gov. Pritzker.

In March, gov. Pritzker signed a 10-year extension of the state’s long-standing production tax credit for filmmakers, which also enhances the program with the inclusion of several “above the line” costs, a significant boost to Illinois’ program as it competes on a national and international basis for top quality productions. The Illinois legislature originally approved the film tax credit program in 2008 to improve the local economy and grow the film business in the state, encouraging local episodic and feature film production.

The new studio development will be the focus of the adaptive reuse of the former Marshall Fields warehouse, which also includes a mix of retail, residences, office and now studio space. The redevelopment of the project into a film studio will bring the property back to its original manufacturing roots with jobs for those in the surrounding neighbourhoods, with a modern twist. The campus will offer an engaging and efficient onsite environment that is integrated into a vibrant northwest corridor with its mix of shops, dining, arts and entertainment in a historic, architecturally distinctive and walkable neighbourhood. The Fields is located at the nexus of several important neighbourhoods, including Avondale, Logan Square, Hermosa and Belmont Cragin, which all share a unique cultural backdrop and a diverse, highly-qualified workforce.

“Knickpoint Ventures is combining our expertise in commercial real estate and entertainment production to create a modern, mixed-use studio campus that brings a best-in-class facility to Chicago,” said Zain Koita, founder and managing partner of Knickpoint Ventures. “The Fields Studios meaningfully connects with the public in both its physical design and the business opportunities it will bring to the surrounding community.”

Located at the intersection of Diversey Avenue and Pulaski Road, The Fields Studios is accessible to businesses and trades to service the studio and is convenient to the area’s public transportation network.

Construction of the new sound stages and support space is anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of 2024.


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