Alex Pissios has confirmed that Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and Cinespace Toronto, the amazing empire that he and his uncle Nick Mirkopolous built on a dream, has been sold to TPG Real Estate, a West Coast based global alternative asset manager.
“It’s a done deal!” said Pissios. “I’m around for six more months.” After that, Alex and the other members of the family owned business will no longer be involved in the operation.
According to Crain’s Chicago Business, TPG, in a statement, has confirmed that its TPG Real Estate Partners unit has made the acquisition.
TPG is bringing in its own team. Industry veteran Eoin Egan, who most recently was head of production services at Netflix, will join Cinespace as chief operating officer and a co-managing partner. A TPG official, Keith Gee, will be chief financial officer and the other co-managing partner.
Pissios was not able to disclose the terms of the deal, but it is understood from a source close to the transaction that TPG paid around $1.1 billion for Cinespace Studios in Chicago and Cinespace Toronto.
In Toronto, Cinespace Film Studios was founded in 1988 by highly revered, (Uncle) Nick Mirkopolous. The series of film studio facilities occupy over 1 million square feet of studio, office and support space on over 40 acres of land. From Road to Avonlea to Best Picture Oscar winner Chicago, Pompeii and The Strain, Cinespace’s model of large, functional spaces and expert client service continues to make Toronto and Cinespace the premier destination for film and TV production in Canada.
In Chicago, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios virtually rose up out of an abandoned steel mill. Uncle Nick had the foresight to recognize how important it was for Chicago and the TV industry to have a facility to base a series there. Located on the west side of downtown Chicago, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios occupies 1.45 million sq. ft. of what use to be the old Ryerson Steel Company. Cinespace Chicago specializes in the development, management and operation of studio facilities, now home to the Dick Wolf One Chicago franchise of Chicago Fire, Med and P.D., The Chi, Lightyears, 61stStreet, Power Book IV: Force, Paper Girls, South Side, and The Big Leap.
“Illinois is proud to welcome TPG’s investment in Cinespace and Illinois’ booming film industry,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in the TPG statement.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot added, “Chicago has a compelling, beautiful cityscape with so much potential for film productions of all mediums and sizes. I am thrilled to see this acquisition expand out capability for content creation and look forward to the jobs and productions it will bring to our region.”
On a personal note, the Chicago film community, the recipients of the CineCares Foundation, the Pilsen neighborhood, and the City of Chicago, owe a huge debt of gratitude to Uncle Nick Mirkopolous, Alex Pissios, and the entire Mirkopolous family for having the foresight, determination, talent, expertise, faith, and vision to raise up the Chicago film industry when others have tried and failed.
Chicago has always been a major player in film and TV production, but truth be told, this family took it to a whole new level. I cringe when I hear our town referred to as ‘Hollywood in Chicago’. Chicago is not trying to be Hollywood. Chicago is an entity of its own. When Hollywood comes to Chicago to film, they do it Chicago style.
Thank you Alex for being the best ambassador this film community could ask for. Your pleasant demeanor, warm smiles, and bigger-than-life personality will be sorely missed on campus.