The remaining studios at the Hit Factory — where artists like Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and countless others recorded some of their biggest songs — are potentially moving closer to a sale. 

The Hit Factory
The remaining studios at the Hit Factory could be coming up for sale on W54th Street. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Most of the six-story building was converted into residential condos in 2006 after the death of its creator, longtime A&R icon Eddie Germano. At that time, 27 loft apartments went on sale including six duplexes, selling on average for $2M and housing the likes of Lady Gaga and theater and film director Jonathan Lynn. The ground floor was used as a retail space by Gibson Guitars until they entered bankruptcy protection in 2018, and was subsequently advertised as suitable for “doctor/dentist offices, production companies, event space or gallery” use.

Now the landlords of the building at 421 W54th Street between 9/10th Avenues, American Strategic Investment, have told investors that the retail part of the property may be sold soon. The space was put for sale in the spring of last year with Bob Knakal and Jake Russell of the commercial real estate firm JLL.

Eddie Germano, a onetime singer and A&R man, bought the studio in 1975, turning it into a state-of-the-art six-story, 100,000 sq ft complex complete with gym, steam room and swanky apartments for visiting stars. He hosted the recording of career-defining albums, including Double Fantasy by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA and Songs In The Key of Life by Stevie Wonder. 

Stevie Wonder at The Hit Factory
Stevie Wonder recorded Songs in the Key of Life at The Hit Factory. Photographer unknown

The Hit Factory is credited with over 150 Grammy awards — including nine Album of the Year awards — and three Academy Awards for Best Original Song. While the Hit Factory is no longer active in Hell’s Kitchen, Eddie Germano’s son, Troy, has continued the legacy of the building with operating studios in London, Miami, and the newest Hit Factory in NoHo

W42ST spoke with Zoe Thrall, former studio manager at the Hit Factory, in 2015. “It was recognized as one of the premier studios in the world,” said Zoe. “They had nine studios and five mastering rooms and it certainly made its mark in its time.”

The Hit Factory
Most of The Hit Factory was turned into condos in 2006. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The closure hit the team hard. “It was horrible, it was heartbreaking, it was shocking,” she added. “But good things must come to an end, I guess.”

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. The original Hit Factory was on W. 48th St., purchased by Eddie Germano from songwriter Jerry Ragavoy. He then moved Hit Factory to W. 54th St. into the former Bell Sound in the early 80s. He expanded to W. 42nd St. purchasing the former Chelsea Studio in the Bush Towers. He then purchased the building further west on 54th St. that this article mentions in the early 90s, which ran alongside the original 54th St. location for many years, and shut down the Times Square location. A family squabble prevented Eddie’s son Troy from using the Hit Factory name when opening his own studio on Broadway in Soho in the 2000s and so called it Germano Studios. Having cleared up the family mess, he renamed it Hit Factory within the last several years.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *