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New York's Hit Factory Gets a New Identity

Condos in legendary recording studio start at more than a million By Frank Moldstad
What do you do with a building that formerly housed one of the worlds premiere recording studios? You turn it into a condominium, of course. Among the newest luxury offerings in the super-heated New York City real estate market is The Hit Factory Condominium, where you can sing in the shower with the ghosts of Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Tony Bennett.

But these condos are going fast, so youd better act now. Available units range from a 1,021-sq.-ft. one bedroom/two bath unit for $1,025,000 at the low end to a 3,548-sq.-ft. three bedroom/three-and-a-half bath unit with a terrace for $4,250,000. If youre interested, the occupancy date is early 2007.

Back in the day, The Hit Factory incorporated seven recording studios and five rehearsal suites in the six-story, 100,000 square-foot facility. Owner Ed Germano, who passed away in 2003, was famous for catering to the whims of his clientele, reportedly stacking hay bales in a studio during one session with a country artist.

Among the artists who recorded at The Hit Factory New York were Paul Simon, Whitney Houston, John Lennon (who was shot while returning from a mixing session at the Hit Factory), Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, U2, Beyonce, Aerosmith ? and on and on. The last record to be recorded in the Hit Factory New York was Dream Theater's Octavarium.

Five of the studios featured SSL consoles, and the facility included a gym, a steam room and apartments that clients could stay in while recording. Ed Germanos wife Janice Germano continued to run the business after his death before closing it in February 2005, and she still operates The Hit Factory in Miami, formerly Criteria Recording Studios. The Hit Factory remains a registered trademark of Hit Factory Entertainment.

Bathroom in one of The Hit Factory Condominiums. Now you can do your shower singing where Bono may once have sung. No guarantees, of course.
Located near the heart of Manhattan at 421 West 54th Street , the six-story building has been completely renovated. But the broker, Stribling Marketing Associates, has not missed the opportunity to use the propertys musical heritage as a hook. The condos web site [go here] launches with a Keith Richards-style guitar riff, followed by a Flash-driven collage of names who recorded at the legendary studio.

?In its day, bands and engineers jockeyed to record tracks and mix albums in its luxurious, cutting-edge studios, and The Hit Factory ultimately earned its name for more than four decades, producing landmark music and platinum sales, the web site says. Although there are few amenties left over from the recording studio days, some of the gold and platinum albums recorded at The Hit Factory now decorate the buildings lobby.

The Hit Factory New York was one of several legendary recording facilities that closed in a short span last year, buffeted by declining record sales and competition from a new breed of smaller digital studios with lower overhead not to mention the home studio phenomenon.

Another recording mecca that folded last year was Cello Studios in Los Angeles, part of the original United Western Studios where Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and The Beach Boys recorded. But Cello Studios met a kinder fate, being purchased by EastWest in January 2006, which will operate it as a studio under the EastWest Studios name.

In New York, there are several historic studios with big live rooms still around, including Avatar Studios, Clinton Recording Studios and Sony Music Studios. Two other large facilities merged last year, Sound On Sound Recording and Right Track Recording, and the partnership now operates from Right Track's premises.

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Related Keywords:The Hit Factory, Condominium, New York, recording studios, Ed Germano, SSL


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