Willis Tower Finds Buyer in Blackstone Group | NBC Chicago
Worth the Trip
Travel Destinations in the Midwest

Willis Tower Finds Buyer in Blackstone Group

The Willis Tower, at 1,451 feet tall, held the designation as the nation's tallest building until late in 2013

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Private equity firm Blackstone Group has reached a deal to buy Chicago's Willis Tower. (Published Monday, March 16, 2015)

    Private equity firm Blackstone Group has reached a deal to buy Chicago's Willis Tower.

    "We see great potential in further improving both the building’s retail operations and the tourist experience for one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Chicago," Jacob Werner, a managing director in Blackstone's real estate group, said in a Monday statement.

    News of the sale was first reported late Sunday by The Wall Street Journal, which put the commercial deal at a reported $1.3 billion.

    Will the iconic building that, despite its current name, lives on as the Sears Tower in the hearts of many Chicagoans get yet another name?

    Willis Tower Could Have New Buyer

    [CHI] Willis Tower Could Have New Buyer
    Chicago's Willis Tower is on the market and could soon be under new ownership, the building management confirmed to NBC Chicago on Wednesday. (Published Wednesday, March 4, 2015)

    "We have not yet closed on the property so it is a little too early to go into details on our plans for it," a company spokesman told NBC Chicago via email.

    Confirmation that the 110-story building was on the market was made earlier this month. New York City-based real estate broker Eastdil Secured LLC was tapped to handle the sale.

    The building is currently owned by New York investors Joseph Chetrit and Joseph Moinian and Skokie-based American Landmark Properties. The parties bought the building in 2004 when it was still known as the Sears Tower.

    It became known as the Willis Tower in 2009 after London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings earned naming rights as part of a lease deal.

    The commercial property is currently 84 percent leased, with the largest tenants being United Airlines and the law firm Schiff Hardin LLP.

    The Willis Tower, at 1,451 feet tall, held the designation as the nation's tallest building until late in 2013 when it was eclipsed by the new One World Trade Center in New York City. An expert committee of architects said the structure atop the latter building was a spire and not a broadcast antenna, bringing the height of the building to 1,776 feet.

    Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android