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Willis Tower Signs First Major Lease Ahead of Renovation

| Commercial Real Estate News, Deals, Office, Retail| Views: 742

Blackstone to Revamp Willis Tower

The nation’s second-tallest building is getting a makeover – the first major renovation in its 43-year history.

In 2015, Blackstone bought the tower for $1.3 billion – a Chicago office building record. According to a recent statement made by the company, it will invest a further $500 million in renovations. This will be the largest investment the firm will have made in a single-building asset.

Plans for the 110-story Willis Tower include a reconfiguration of about 460k SF of existing space which will provide tenant amenities like lounges, a fitness center and an event space. Over 300k SF of new entertainment areas, retail and dining will be added to the lower end of the building. A 3-story glass structure will be erected on the entry plaza and will encompass 3 floors set up around a winter garden.

Of course, part of the investment will go towards improving the 103rd floor Skydeck – the Chicago attraction that draws 1.7 million visitors each year.

National Restaurant Association Signs Full-Floor Office Lease

Blackstone’s Equity Office, operating as the Willis Tower owner, announced on February 22nd that the Chicago operations of the National Restaurant Association signed a long-term lease to occupy the 36th floor. The deal totals 50,852 square feet of space in a “a unique, engaging office environment with unbeatable views”.

Located in the mid-rise block, the National Restaurant Association will be close to some of the new proposed amenities: the Tower House 2-story tenant lounge and café and Tone – a 30k SF “full-service fitness experience”. The Association was drawn to the proposed renovation’s hospitality components, as well as the high quality tenant amenities, that their employees would benefit from, going forward.

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