SESAC heads for Gulch
February 10, 2004
SESAC, the smallest of the performing rights organization, is outgrowing its headquarters on Music Row and looking to expand into a new building in the Gulch two years from now.
When the current owners bought SESAC in October of 2002, the organization had about 65 employees, said its president, Bill Velez. SESAC now has 110 employees and will be adding more.
Year after year, SESAC – whose 4,000 songwriter members include Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond – has experienced incremental growth particularly in its licensing and royal distribution departments.
“A lot of the growth has been inhibited by the fact that we’ve had space limitations,” Velez said.
For the first time, the organization is taking steps to set up a call center from which full-time staff will contact venues that don’t yet have general licenses to play SESAC material.
“When we talk about the area of general licensing, there’s almost infinite potential there for revenue. It’s basically a situation where you can increase your revenue commensurate with how many bodies you can throw into it,” Velez said.
Initially, a 10-person call center will be set up in a small house near SESAC on Music Row that SESAC is leasing for additional space. The company has also taken over the first floor of the former Mercury Records building.
“All this to get us through the next couple of years until we can move into our new building in the Gulch,” Velez said.
SESAC plans to anchor a new office building to be constructed at the corner of 12th Avenue and Division Street in the developing area downtown known as the Gulch.
Neither Velez nor the developers, Armistead Barkley, would disclose details, as all the contracts are not yet in place.
But Velez said the new 33,000-square-foot headquarters space would more than double the space SESAC now occupies at 55 Music Square East.
– Chris Lewis