Construction on $80 mm studio underway

Construction is underway to convert a 330,000-sq. ft warehouse into the first of what could be seven to soundstages for Chicago Film Studios, on the 50 acre Ryerson Steel campus on the Southwest Side.

When completed, it will be the biggest state-of-the-art film studio outside and is propected to employ 6,000 over a five-year period.

“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 steel plant consists of 1.3 million sq. ft. of buildings under one roof, situated on 48.5 acres of prime estate, just five miles southwest of State and Madison Streets.

Nick Mirkopoulos, chairman of Cinespace Toronto, the person behind the deal, reportedly paid $18 million for the property, a substantial dip from the asking of $22-$26 million the property had been listed at with Grubb & Ellis real estate brokers. Mirkopoulos said he has received cooperation from City Hall and labor unions in pursuing his plans for the studio. Cinespace Toronto, owner of three studios, has been involved in more than 700 major films. Mirkopoulos anticipates business for the Chicago studio will come those Hollywood connections.