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Chicago’s South Side is getting a production studio.
Regal Mile Studios, a 220,000 square foot, 6-acre media campus with sound stages, will be built later this year. Industry agency Gersh led the negotiations with industry partners for the new development.
Owned by ID8 Ventures LLC with investment bank Loop Capital, the privately funded project anchors 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.
“It has been a long-held dream of mine to help energize the entertainment industry in my hometown, right in the neighborhood where I grew up,” says Dudley, noting that the project has been in the works since 2018. “The community support has been extraordinary.”
Regal Mile Studios submitted its application for phase one entitlements earlier this year and is aiming to start construction in the fall, with hopes of completing it by fall 2022. Dakota Development, which has decades of experience building 5-star hotels, will construct the space. There are plans for it to include a gym, plus recreation and hospitality space.
With the addition of Regal Mile Studios, Chicago has three new soundstage projects in development. There are two new developments and an expansion of an existing facility, all in different areas of the city. It comes at a time of growing demand for production facilities.
“In order to grow film and television production spending in Illinois to $1 billion a year, the single biggest need for them is the addition of another studio complex. More studio space equals more productions, which leads to more jobs,” says Peter Hawley, deputy director of the Illinois film office. “The Illinois Film Office endorses the Regal Mile studio project.”
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