The Mill’s big new studio officially opens April 1

The Mill’s new building 1KFulton

In March, The Mill effects and animation studio will celebrate its third anniversary in Chicago by moving to its magnificent new studio space in the landmark building at 1KFulton (1000 W. Fulton Market).  Doors will officially open April 1.  

London-headquartered visual effects and creative content studio had opened in Chicago in March, 2013, as their third US operation, in addition to New York and Los Angeles.

The Mill’s current staff of about 60, says Chicago Managing Director Jared Yeater, will occupy the entire second floor of the new 10 story building at Fulton and Racine, to accommodate its rapid growth “as a result from local client demand for all of our studio’s capabilities,” he says.

The Mill has become the Chicago’s largest company for visual media effects, design, animation and color, says Yeater, who had been The Mill New York’s deputy head of production and moved here to head the studio. 

This growth “is an incredible testament to our team to have accomplished so much is just three years,” says The Mill’s London-based CEO Robin Shenfield, who launched the company in 1990 as Europe’s first effects company that was exclusively digital. 

The new studio will increase capabilities, such as the number of client suites and a second color correction suite, Yeater says, and new staff members who will to join when the build-out and move has been completed in March.

The space was designed by the Malibu, Calif. architectural firm of Bruce Bolender Architects; build-out by Centaur Construction, Chicago.

The Mill will be moving from space it has shared with The Whitehouse post, another Chicago branch of a London-based company, at 54 W. Hubbard. 

Last summer, Mountain View. Calif.-based Google, Inc., the building’s primary tenant, moved into 253,000-sq. ft. of leased space to accommodate its ever-increasing staff needs, currently said to be 550. 

The Mill’s other neighbors will be bike gear manufacturer SRAM International, fund/incubator Sandbox Industries and Boka Restaurant group Swift & Sons restaurants. Floor space ranges from 38,500 to 71,000-sq. ft.

The one-time 1923 vertical food storage facility, now a LEED-certified building, was purchased for $12 million by developer Sterling Bay and its current value is estimated at $275 million. 

Sterling Bay is the company that bought and is redeveloping former Harpo Studios just a few blocks south. They are considered the biggest investor and developer in the area west of the Kennedy Expressway and the Loop.