Feb 24, 2023 - Real Estate

Inside the new home for Boston bands

Most of the rehearsal rooms on Morrissey Boulevard will have windows. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios.

Up to a thousand Boston-area musicians will begin unloading their gear into a former radio station in Dorchester next week, settling into a massive new rehearsal space.

Driving the news: March 1 marks the opening of a new rehearsal studio at 55 Morrissey Blvd. to replace the closing Sound Museum in Allston-Brighton that housed practicing acts for decades.

  • The new "swing space" is meant to provide a temporary home for the displaced musicians while city officials and art advocates work on finding something more permanent with the company that bought the Sound Museum's building.

Why it matters: Expanding life science companies, developments and sky-high real estate costs across town are driving artists from areas like Allston-Brighton in search of affordable practice space.

What’s happening: The Morrissey Boulevard building, formerly home to Beasley Broadcast Group radio stations like Hot 96.9, is being redeveloped by music nonprofit the Record Co. into a 35,000-square-foot musicians’ hub.

The team from The Record Co. is figuring out what their musicians do and how they want to do it. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios.

Zoom in: The Record Co. wants to build out an artists' community in the building, which will have communal lounges and a kitchen, so acts can mingle, jam and share ideas.

  • The new space will have two floors, with 88 practice rooms big enough to easily accommodate multi-piece acts.
  • Former radio studios are being converted into recording space and online streaming studios that will be available to tenants this spring.

Artists will pay between $374 a month for a solo room and $638 for the largest rooms, with additional fees for more sound-proofing.

  • The building will be open daily from 8am to 2am.

What they're saying: "There's no way to meet the need" for more practice space in Boston, The Record Co.'s Matt McArthur tells Axios

  • More affordable facilities, like the Morrissey building and whatever eventually replaces the Sound Museum in Allston-Brighton, will also be necessary to maintain a vibrant Boston music scene, McArthur added.
Soon to become a communal kitchen for musicians renting space from The Record Co. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios.

What's next: The Record Co. is contracted to operate the new rehearsal space for two years while a permanent home is found for the musicians.

  • IQHQ, the development firm that bought the building the Sound Museum occupied, is in talks with the city to outfit a new space in Allston for music practice space.

What we’re watching: The newly renovated Morrissey Boulevard property could face the same fate as the Allston-Brighton space.


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