New studio construction to make Chicago ‘Hollywood of the Midwest’


Chicago Construction News staff writer

Officials broke ground on the 222,000-sq. ft. Regal Mile Studios on Feb. 6, launching construction on five soundstages, a gym, cafeteria and recreation space.

The new film studio, is being built on a seven-acre site and is expected to open next year, making Chicago “Hollywood of the Midwest” and bring hundreds of jobs to local residents.

It’s a privately funded campus that Mayor Lori Lightfoot says will boost Chicago’s place in the film industry.

“The reason you see so many South Side elected officials here is because they all know that this investment is going to endure to benefit the entire South Side, and dare I saw the entire city,” Lightfoot said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “This is a big moment of pride.”

The studio will be built on land that has sat vacant for over two decades. The Regal Mile Studios project is by Derek Dudley, producer of Showtime’s “The Chi,” and Jim Reynolds of Loop Capital Real Estate Partners.

“This one is near and dear because we’re going to take these young people, we’re going to revitalize this community and bring economic activity, and jobs, and hope back,” said Reynolds, who grew up in Englewood.In November 2021 the city’s housing committee agreed to sell six parcels of vacant, city-owned land in South Shore for $31,000.

Lightfoot says the study will complement the INVEST South/West program, which uses public money to spur economic activity in the city’s economically depressed neighborhoods. The city says it has allocated more than $2 billion in private and public money through the program for real estate developments on the South and West sides.

Film production revenue hit a record high of $700 million in Chicago last year and is on track to exceed that number this year.


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