Famous music studio hits the right note with move to Times Square

JSM Music, regarded by many as the world’s pre-eminent commercial music production studio, is giving up 7,200 square feet of space downtown for a 10,500-square-foot penthouse near Times Square.

Despite being small in size, the just-signed deal punches well above its weight class in symbolism, creative relevance and emotion.

JSM – winner of numerous Grammys, Cleos and other industry honors – composed the music for Seven of this year’s Super Bowl commercialsIncluding an ad for Hellman’s mayonnaise with Jon Hamm and Brie Larson for WPP agency Wunderman Thompson.

It is widely said that creative and media firms do not need to keep as many employees in offices as financial and law firms. Don’t creatives cringe if they aren’t working from home, where they connect with bosses and co-workers between health-food snacks and dog walks?

But listen to Joel Simon, founder and CEO of JSM, on the essentials. in-person, face-to-face collaboration The field in which he is a master:

“Everything I loved about Zoom at the beginning of the pandemic is everything I hate now,” Simon said. “Instead of having a normal conversation, or ‘Hey, just come over and talk,’ everything was about a presentation.”

JSM founder and CEO said that in-person, face-to-face collaboration "very important"
Face-to-face collaboration is “so important,” JSM’s founder and CEO said personally.

“Bringing in all of our outside talent and having customers on site could not come soon enough for me. It is very important to be together and share ideas.

“That’s where the magic happens. Making something out of nothing. You never know when genius is going to strike you. There’s no substitute.”

JSM moved to 30 Broad Street about six years ago. His team enthusiastically returned to the studio before the city could recover, Simon recalled. But it recently became time for change when jackhammering from outside facade work provided a less than ideal backdrop for making and recording commercial music.

When Simon posted photos of the recent JSM move-out on social media, “People asked me, OMG – are you moving away? You’ll save so much money! Or, “Are you moving to Miami?” remembered with a laugh.

No, he explained. They were heading to Midtown, steps away from the bright lights of Broadway and the city’s most famous entertainment district.

A JLL team led by Brett Harvey and Zachary Azus represented JSM Music in the lease. Landlord APF Properties was recaptured by John Ryan III and Rachel Rosenfeld of Avison Young. Neither Simon nor the broker would discuss the terms of the lease, but a source said the rent was in the mid-$70s per square foot.

Penthouses have 20-foot-high ceilings and large outdoor terraces.
Penthouses have 20-foot-high ceilings and large outdoor terraces.
jsm music

JSM composed the music for Hellman's Mayonnaise with Jon Hamm and Brie Larson for WPP agency Wunderman Thompson's Super Bowl ad.
JSM composed the music for Hellman’s Mayonnaise with Jon Hamm and Brie Larson for WPP agency Wunderman Thompson’s Super Bowl ad.
jsm music

JSM will use its new Uptown digs for professional music composition, recording, production, post-production and sound design.

The penthouse has 20-foot-high ceilings and large outdoor terraces, but the neighborhood appeal was just as strong. Simon’s staff of thirty were excited to live in what he calls “the heart of Manhattan”. the block between fifth and sixth avenues is Lined with trendy restaurants, hotels and clubsBut Simon doesn’t have a particular favorite.

“I love foodies,” he said. “There wasn’t a good one near our old studio. When I came here, the first thing I saw was the diner across the street.

It’s the ever-popular Red Flame at 67 W 44th – also a favorite of Realty Check.

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