The ongoing rehabilitation of a former North Lawndale steel plant as a film production studio will be assisted through a property tax incentive approved today by City Council.
The Class C incentive, valued at more than $3.5 million over 12 years, will enable Chicago Film Studio Holdings LLC to continue the transformation of the former Joseph T. Ryerson & Son Steel complex at 15th Street and Rockwell Avenue for movie and TV production purposes, along with other uses.
“TV and film production are important aspects of the Chicago economy, for local talent as well as for out-of-town production companies that use local facilities,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “By lowering the cost of doing business, the tax incentive will make this facility more viable for this kind of work,” Mayor Emanuel said.
Chicago Film Studio Holdings has completed approximately $39 million in rehabilitation and environmental remediation work since acquiring the 48-acre complex in phases starting in 2011. Known as Cinespace Film Studios Chicago, it has been used for a variety of one-time and ongoing commercial production projects, including the “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Code” and “Boss” television series. DePaul University finalized a five-year agreement this spring to use a portion of the complex for its film production program.
As a planned collection of soundstages, production rooms, and support spaces, the facility currently employs 45 to 65 full-time staff people, depending on production schedules. It could accommodate more than 3,000 part- and full-time workers when operating at full capacity.
Related rehabilitation work on the 1.3 million-square-foot complex will accommodate other tenants, including a planned 150,000-square-foot brewery by Petaluma, CA-based Lagunitas Brewing Co.