A groundbreaking has been held for the upcoming movie studio at 7700 S Stony Island Avenue in South Shore. Located on a triangular site on the intersection with E 77th Street, the new facilities dubbed the ‘Regal Mile Studios’ will replace predominantly vacant lots along with two small commercial buildings. Developer ID8 Ventures is made up of various key players including Derek Dudley who produces ‘The Chi’ along with Loop Capital, the team has been working with local architecture firm Bauer Latoza Studio on its design.
Though many major studios trace back their beginning to the city, the film industry truly began its Chicago revival with Cinespace Studios and various tax benefits which helped grow the city to over 15 active productions at the moment. From Dick Wolf’s Chicago series, to Marvel over the summer, and now Apple TV turning the north side’s Cricket Hill into a post-apocalyptic scene for the upcoming show ‘Dark Matter’ according to Filming In Chicago, Regal Mile hopes to join in with the goal of bringing kids of color into the growing industry.
Consisting of a nearly seven-acre campus, the studios will build three new major structures with 222,000 square feet of active space and five soundstages. Rising 52 feet in height, the filming spaces will be the largest component with nearly half of the square footage of the development, these will be set back from the road and most of them as far from the train tracks as possible for sound insulation and sightline preservation. They will be supported with a green room building, room for offices, a mill for set pieces, as well as multiple cafeteria and wardrobe zones.
Each 20,000-square-foot studio will have its own office area for separate productions to run simultaneously, there will also be 95-vehicle parking spaces and a large central outdoor staging area. The whole complex will also be unified with a single design language featuring angular metal panel walls coverings and glass storefronts, the panels themselves will boast different color gradients as they progress across the large concrete structural walls.
Having received all needed approvals by last year, the groundbreaking was attended by not only city officials but also by various celebrities via video including John Legend, Taraji P. Henson, and Common who is an investor. The $100 million project hopes to revitalize the surroundings including the nearby Avalon Regal Theater as it hunts for a new developer. Construction is now ready to begin and will do so soon with an estimated completion date in the fall of 2024.