Claire Simon Casting will be making the first major change to its business since Claire Simon opened its doors 19 years ago, by moving into what she claims will be “the Taj Mahal of casting offices” at Cinespace.
On Aug. 31, Simon and her staff of six will move from their present location of 17 years — a 5,500-sf. ft. office in a Lincoln Park loft building — to 6,000-sq. ft. on the third floor in Cinespace’s Center Building at 2558 W. 16th St.
“It will be great to be where the action is; there’s so much energy there,” says Simon. The company will be literally next door to the network shows it casts filming at Cinespace: NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and Chicago PD” and Fox’s hit “Empire.”
Simon estimates that she’s placed about 1,000 Chicago actors in what amounts to six seasons of those three shows alone.
Simon’s new space is being designed and built-out by Cinespace, but she will be the interior decorator for the new offices. “I want the space to be really beautiful, comfortable and relaxed for our clients, a ‘casting spa,’ if you will,” she says.
“Proximity to the shows will make it easier for Claire to serve her clients and it adds to the services we can supply to the projects working here,” adds Pissios.
The wardrobe department for “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD,” also will be located in large space behind the new Simon offices.
An additional 2,000 sq. ft. of adjacent space is also under construction for rent to film-related businesses.
Since 2001, Claire Simon Casting has provided local talent for 20 network TV series, starting with ABC’s “What About Joan,” starring Joan Cusack, in 2001, along with studio features and TV movies. That makes her company Chicago’s biggest for entertainment projects, and therefore is the largest between Coasts.