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.
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.
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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.
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 While the Hit Factory is no longer active in Hell’s Kitchen, Eddie Germano’s son, Troy, has continued the legacy of the building with operating studios in London, Miami, and the newest Hit Factory in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 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.”