Epic West Hollywood Recording Studio Has Second Life as Green Lofts

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west hollywoodThe site where the Cherokee Studios in West Hollywood sat for years, where some of the most indelible music in history was recorded, looks a lot different from when Ringo Starr induced his former bandmates to come record with him, and where Sinatra and Bowie headed to record. 

And while the building is now a Green LEED Platinum work/live complex known as the Lofts at Cherokee Studios, you can still see where the developers have paid homage to the artists that called the studios their workspace while recording some of the most important albums of their lives. 

Founded in 1972, the studios quickly became the go-to place for artists who wanted the expertise of Joe and Bruce Robb. At its heyday, five studios were in use at the studios at Fairfax Avenue (where the lofts are now), as well as three studios at another location. The first big hit recorded there was Steely Dan’s “Pretzel Logic,” and more hits followed. Cherokee shuttered for good in 2007.

A veritable who’s-who of recording artists and bands found their way to Cherokee, from almost all of the Beatles (post-Beatles, but just the same), Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Motley Crue, David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Aerosmith, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Guns N’ Roses, Journey, Van Halen, and The Cars.

Before the building belonged to the Robbs, MGM also used it as a recording studio, with the likes of Count Basie, Judy Garland, and Elvis Presley recording there.

Clockwise from left, Michael Jackson recorded “Off the Wall” at Cherokee, Ringo Starr looped in several former bandmates to record “Stop and Smell the Roses,” Paul McCartney and Jackson recorded “Say, Say, Say,” and David Bowie recorded “Station to Station” (photos courtesy Pinterest).

According to studio lore, Ringo Starr invited George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Linda McCartney to the guest on his album “Stop and Smell the Roses,” in 1980. John Lennon was invited to collaborate as well, but was murdered before that came to fruition.

The studio was so well respected that Beatles producer George Martin wrote in his autobiography that he considered Cherokee Studios to be the best studio in America.

It’s unsurprising, then, with that pedigree, that its next life would also be award-winning, with the lofts project garnering an American Institute of Architects award recently.

Word has it that some of the units, in fact, also include professional recording studios designed by former Cherokee owner, Bruce Robb.

Unit 1 at 751 N. Fairfax Avenue showcases the new sensibilities of the building with a turnkey, modern, bright two-story condo. Hardwood floors throughout bounce that light around, and 16-foot ceilings make the open living space and kitchen feel even more spacious than they are. 

A chef’s kitchen overlooks entertaining space, with a massive Caesar stone island and bar-style seating, a Bertazzoni oven, stainless steel appliances, and more. Beyond the dining space is a private balcony. 

The master is light and airy, with the same high ceilings, and a generous master bathroom boasts upgraded finishes. Upstairs, in-unit laundry, a guest bedroom with en-suite, and space for an office cap off the space. 

Feel like entertaining more folks? A rooftop deck provides views for miles, and out on the street, you are close to all the great dining and shopping at West Hollywood.

The two-bedroom, two bath home is priced at $999,000, and is listed by Nick Collins with The Agency. See more here.