New York City’s Avatar Studios, also known as The Power Station, is going up for sale, sources with knowledge of the plans tell Billboard. The news is expected to be announced in the coming days.
A rep for the building says Avatar is not currently on the market.
The 33,000-square-foot midtown Manhattan complex of recording studios is where some of the most seminal albums of the 1970s and 1980s were made, including Bruce Springsteen‘s Born in the U.S.A., Rolling Stones‘ Some Girls, Peter Gabriel‘s So and Duran Duran‘s Seven and the Ragged Tiger. It’s also where such noted engineers as Bob Clearmountain and Scott Litt got their start and where veterans Jimmy Iovine and Jellybean Benitez spent their formative production years.
Built in 1977 by producer Tony Bongiovi (legend has it a young Jon Bon Jovi once swept the floors there waiting for his big break) in a building that once housed a Consolidated Edison power plant and served as a soundstage for the game show Let’s Make a Deal, the studio was among the first in the world designed for multi-track recording. Its clientele, which included Elton John, Aerosmith, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Madonna, Blondie, Iggy Pop, Chic, John Mayer, Adam Levine among many others, drew top stars of the day to the area, where Sony Studios and Hit Factory were also based.
In fact, the studio was so iconic that the 80s supergroup The Power Station — featuring Robert Palmer, Chic drummer Tony Thompson and Duran Duran members John Taylor and Andy Taylor — took its name.
According to an insider, the owners hope that it will remain a studio, but if it ends up going the way of condos, as other former studios have, “It will be a massive blow to the city.”
New York City’s studio pool has shrunk drastically in the last decade with the shuttering of Hit Factory and Sony Studios. Electric Lady studios, Manhattan Sound Recording (formerly Right Track) and Jungle City remain.