The on-again, off-again Central City X Studios is back on again with a vengeance. The Community Development Commission gave a stamp of approval Tuesday to a plan to build a $43.7 million, state-of-the-art film and TV studio complex on the West Side.
The 11-acre former illegal mountain of debris at 4300-58 W. Roosevelt Road figured prominently in the city's Silver Shovel scandal of the mid-'90s. "Changing the dump site to a movie studio is a pretty incredible accomplishment, no matter how many years it takes," said Peter Scales, Dept. of Planning and Development spokesman.
It will consist of five sound stages, three 18,000-sq. ft., and two 28,800-sq. ft., plus a three-story production office building, a 21,660-sq. ft. mezzanine for production support, and a 450-car parking lot.
Construction will commence six months after final City Council approval. It should take 18 months until the facility is completed.
Raleigh Enterprises owns Raleigh Studios, the oldest, continuously operating studio in the U.S., with facilities in Hollywood and Manhattan Beach. It recently acquired Hollywood Rentals, specialists in lighting and grip, generators and production vehicle rentals, which is currently servicing the features "Roll, Bounce" and "Batman" while they film in Chicago.
Commercial production has been a mainstay of Raleigh Studios and Rosenthal expects studio rentals will come from Chicago ad agencies as well as from production of features and TV shows and series