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South Shore Film Studio Clears Major Hurdle Toward Construction, Grand Opening Planned For Early 2023

The City Council's Plan Commission signed off on the proposed Regal Mile Studios at 77th, South Chicago and Stony Island.

A rendering of the main Regal Mile Studios building, looking south from South Chicago Avenue.
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SOUTH SHORE — The planned Regal Mile Studios development on the South Side, which aims to boost Chicago’s profile as a film and television hub, is one step closer to construction after receiving key city approval Thursday.

The Plan Commission unanimously approved a proposal for a “state-of-the-art media campus” with 220,000 square feet of studio space on a 6.5-acre plot in the far southwest corner of South Shore.

The Regal Mile Studios would be built on vacant properties at 1431–1525 E. 77th St. and on the 7700 blocks of Blackstone, South Chicago, Harper and Stony Island Avenues. The development is estimated to cost $60–$70 million, with the studios set to open in late 2022 or early 2023.

Despite drawing its name from the nearby Regal Theater, the Regal Mile Studios project will not incorporate the deteriorating theater at 1641 E. 79th St.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
The site where two South Side investors are planning a massive studio campus, Regal Mile Studios, aim to bring a state-of-the-art studio to a 6.5-acre site in South Shore as seen on June 10, 2021.

A development team led by ID8 Ventures — in which Derek Dudley, producer of Showtime’s “The Chi,” is a partner — and Loop Capital Markets submitted an application for a zoning change for the South Shore properties in late May.

“I’m just very excited at the opportunity to bring this project to life,” said Dudley, a South Side native. “This project will be monumental in terms of being able to expand the film and TV business and make Chicago the Hollywood of the Midwest.”

The studio will now be considered by City Council’s committee on zoning.

“We have been trying to develop these particular parcels for a quarter of a century,” Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said. “It’s nice to see something different and new” in the community that will provide opportunities to young people, she said.

To view the developers’ presentation to the Plan Commisison, click here.

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An aerial rendering of the Regal Mile Studios site. The maximum height of buildings at the site is planned for 52 feet.
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The materials to be used in the main building’s construction.

The commission also unanimously approved plans for a four-story, 10-unit condo building on a vacant lot next to Rainbow Beach Park. The development at 3006-3012 E. 78th St. would include a garage with eight parking spaces, two outdoor parking spaces and ten bike spaces.

Construction on the $7 million project called Elam Place Condominiums is set to begin this summer. It is scheduled to open in spring 2022.

Also Thursday, South Shore charter school Art In Motion’s plans to move its freshmen and sophomores to a separate campus at 7522 S. Greenwood Ave. for the upcoming school year received commission approval.

Renovations are underway at Art In Motion’s main building, 7415 S. East End Ave., to establish a full arts campus for middle and high schoolers by 2023.

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A west-facing rendering of the planned condo building at 3006–12 E. 78th St., which neighbors Rainbow Beach.

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