Chicago gets $80 million studio complex!
Reported by ReelChicago.com
Toronto studio owner buys Ryerson Steel property.
A $5 million state grant approved Friday set in motion the purchase of the former Ryerson steel property that will be converted into the biggest state-of- the-art film studio outside of Hollywood.
Cinespace Chicago, located on 50 acres of prime city property on the Near Southwest Side, is now under construction and one 330,000-sq. ft. stage could be ready for action by January.
Cinespace Chicago owner, Nick Mirkopoulos, is a highly successful and respected Toronto studio owner, who will invest an estimated $80 million to convert the six contiguous buildings into a film and TV production center.
When completed in 12-15 months, Cinespace Chicago will create a projected 6,000 jobs.
“A big studio like this is long overdue,” said John Coli, Sr., secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 727 and president of Teamsters Joint Council 25, who has worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes for several years in an effort to convince a major studio owner with a successful track record to establish a film complex in Chicago.
The Ryerson campus, as it is called, consists of 1.3 million sq. ft. of buildings under one roof, situated on 48.5 acres of land between Ogden and Western Avenues, a scant five miles southwest from State and Madison Streets in the Loop.
Mirkopoulos reportedly paid $18 million for the property. An asking price of $22-$26 million had been listed with an industrial real estate broker for the past 18 months.
Production business is expected almost immediately.
After receiving news of the state grant approval Friday, Mirkopoulos on Monday flew his architect to Chicago to meet with contractors to immediately begin converting one of the property’s six 572×572-sq. ft. buildings into a sound stage, which is expected to be completed within an estimated 60 days.
Chicago will be an extremely attractive place to produce movies and TV shows, said Coli, thanks to unions that have committed to providing lower costs for filmmakers and Illinois’ sustainable 30% tax credit….