Blackstone Taps Team for Willis Tower Makeover

Real estate heavyweight Blackstone Group is adding more bling to the iconic Chicago landmark.
By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Willis Tower Chicago

Following its $1.3 billion acquisition of the Willis Tower, real estate heavyweight Blackstone Group is adding even more bling to the iconic Chicago landmark.

The company closed on the 110-story property June 5 and plans to begin the repositioning process immediately. According to a news release, Blackstone enlisted the help of The Telos Group and CBRE to handle the daunting task of revamping the emblematic tower. Equity Office will also join the team as property manager in the process.

According to Crain’s, the repositioning effort will include the addition of new, enhanced lifestyle amenities and a complete overhaul of the 3.8 million square feet of office space. The process, which could take years to complete, will also include a significant expansion of the building’s retail and entertainment space.

“There is no better owner than Blackstone to reignite the massive potential of Willis Tower,” said Brian Whiting, president of The Telos Group. “The building’s scale, identity and history require an ownership that is well capitalized, forward thinking and very creative.”

Blackstone purchased the iconic tower at 233 S. Wacker Dr. earlier this year, at a time when the office market in Chicago started picking up the pace. The 42-year-old building, still referred to by some as the Sears Tower, is the second-tallest building in the U.S. and one of Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks.

Image courtesy of Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia Commons