“The Four Seasons of rehearsal spaces” is what Jared Paul (seen here in his office) was going for when he came up with a plan to convert a dilapidated Hollywood factory once owned by Howard Hughes into a multi-use creative space. The impetus: time-consuming drives to Burbank for clients’ rehearsals at Center Staging (Paul represents New Kids on the Block and Fifth Harmony, stages the Dancing With the Stars tour, and would regularly book five to six rooms at the Valley standby) or the inevitable “zig-zag around town” to a recording studio or a fitting. “That was the breaking point,” says the 37-year-old.
On the day Billboard visited, New Kids on the Block were rehearsing on the arena-stage-sized floor made of sprung wood. “It's the top-end material for a dancer," says Paul. "If you're going to spend eight hours on a vinyl or concrete floor, it's clearly uncomfortable. That and the sound system were splurges."
Beyond the dance floor, the New Kids "can use their time wisely," says Paul (far right). "Wardrobe fittings were all laid out for them, then they had to do some recording, so they went in the studio, then they were able to hear the music the band was working on. That proved to me that we did make the right decision -- that the plan was working."
"There's a lot of need for space in Los Angeles," says Paul, noting that perennials like S.I.R. and Center Staging don't just rent to music clients but do a tremendous amount of business with TV productions. Still, he adds, "It's a little bit surprising to me that people have not kept them up. An artist comes to town and stays in a 4 or 5 star hotel, yet the biggest stars in the world are walking on linoleum floors in a room that needs a paint job. I think artists notice that kind of stuff."
“A lounge is usually an afterthought in an average rehearsal studio -- we prioritized it,” says Paul.
With a keen eye for interior design, Paul envisioned the table in the waiting room fashioned from old grade-school textbooks.
Rehearsal Room The space features two fully-functioning, soundproofed rehearsal rooms with zero bleed, the larger one big enough "so you can map out a TV show or a tour," says Paul.
Faculty shares space with Paul's management company, which has 10 offices in total and "some overlap." Among his clients, who can eat and meet in the communal kitchen: Nick Lachey in Music, Fifth Harmony, Emblem3, Sabrina Carpenter and MKTO.
Having an "outdoor environment" was key. Says Paul: "It's a huge plus that someone can walk outside and not have to worry about paparazzi getting a photo of them."