Former suburban Chicago hospital shopped as film studio

Lockwood Partners venture seeks to repurpose MetroSouth Medical Center

Blue Island's Tom Wogan with12935 S. Gregory Street
Blue Island's Tom Wogan with12935 S. Gregory Street (LinkedIn, Google Maps)

The Florida real estate firm that owns the shuttered MetroSouth Medical Center in the southern Chicago suburb of Blue Island is seeking to sell the property as a film studio or life science campus.

A venture of Lockwood Partners hired SVN Chicago Commercial to market the site, which spans 12.5 acres and includes the 509,000-square-foot former MetroSouth Medical Center that closed in 2019, Crain’s reported. Also included is a 43,000-square-foot medical office building at 2310 York Street and a parking garage and surface lot with space for 819 vehicles.

An asking price hasn’t been released, Lockwood bought it for $20 million in March 2020, only to have its plan to convert the hospital into housing for veterans upended by the pandemic. The state took control and spent about $20 million on upgrades so it could operate as an emergency site for Covid patients.

Lockwood regained control in 2021 and began renting it to film and TV production companies under the brand “MetroFilm Studios.” Shows for Amazon, HBO and Netflix have filmed in and around the building. Amid rising demand for streaming content, film and TV producers spent a record $631 million filming in Illinois last year.

Lockwood has been in talks with an unidentified production studio about teaming up to convert the entire campus into studio space,, and is willing to lease some or all of the campus instead of selling it, according to Chicago-based consultant Dan McNulty, who oversees the property on behalf of the Lockwood venture.

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SVN is also marketing the property as a healthcare facility that could be used for lab, clinical or life sciences research.

The city of Blue Island would have to approve any significant redevelopments to the property and City Administrator Tom Wogan says officials would prefer the property be used for health care.

“We have a vested interest in wanting to see the property serve a beneficial role in the community,” Wogan told the outlet. “We’re hopeful that (its) future involves filling in some of the gaps in health care services that the community lost when the hospital closed.”

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[CCB] — Victoria Pruitt