New TV, film studio breaks ground in South Shore where vacant buildings once stood

Leah Hope Image
Monday, February 6, 2023
Regal Mile Studios breaks ground in South Shore
Regal Mile Studios broke ground in the South Shore neighborhood near S. Chicago Ave. and E 79th St. Monday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- What had been vacant lots will soon to be the home of what some hope will be the Hollywood of the South Shore.

Regal Mile Studios broke ground Monday in the neighborhood near S. Chicago Ave. and E 79th St.

The studio was created by Derek Dudley, an executive producer on the TV show "The Chi" and manager of Chicago-born rapper Common.

Residents are excited about the new development.

Gwen Jones, of South Shore Unified Business and Block Club Organization, was a part of the groundbreaking ceremony.

"It's just amazing to see this," Jones said. "In fact, when I pulled up, I was like 'whoa.' And it's really happening; we've been waiting for this."

The campus is expected to produce TV shows and movies while also offering opportunity and training for people in the area.

"We are going to grab these young kids that are so predisposed to the arts, so predisposed to film and video and visual activities, and we're going to train them how to do it," said Jim Reynolds of Loop Capital at the ceremony.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke about the importance of the project at the ground breaking.

"This investment is going to inure to the benefit of the entire South Side, and dare I say, to the entire city," Lightfoot said. "So this is a big moment of pride for all of us."

Long-time residents like Jones have seen promises and plans come and go. But this time, she is emotional that the promise is being kept.

"With this coming here now I know it's going to bring more investments, more businesses, more opportunities for the youth here," Jones said. "It's going to be just wonderful."

Chance the Rapper and Derek Rose are investors in the project, which is expected to be completed in summer 2024.