United Airlines Could Unite Downtown Offices in Willis Tower

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor The parent company of United Airlines is pondering uniting the company’s downtown offices under one roof at Willis Tower, Chicagorealestatedaily.com reports. Sources say that United Continental Holdings Inc. is searching for tenants to fill the 250,000 square feet it currently leases at the United Building, located at 77 W. Wacker [...]

The parent company of United Airlines is pondering uniting the company’s downtown offices under one roof at Willis Tower, Chicagorealestatedaily.com reports. Sources say that United Continental Holdings Inc. is searching for tenants to fill the 250,000 square feet it currently leases at the United Building, located at 77 W. Wacker Dr., in order to consolidate its offices at the landmark skyscraper.

The 959,258-square-foot United Building was built in 1992 and is currently 81 percent leased. United relocated its headquarters there in March 2007 after receiving consistent subsidies from the state and the city, becoming the building’s largest tenant.

Since the merger of United and Continental Airlines almost two years ago, United Continental CEO Jeffery Smisek has been trying to reshape the company. United has already left its suburban campus in Elk Grove Township and is currently in the process of expanding its presence at Willis Tower to 650,000 square feet. If the company leaves the United Building, the total space leased in the 3.8-million-square-foot Willis Tower is expected to reach around 850,000 square feet.

United’s lease at United Building is set to run through to 2022, but John Buck Co., which leases the overall building, is trying to sublease United’s space. Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. is said to be searching to lease around 400,000 square feet, and the owner of 77 W. Wacker, a pension fund, could tempt such a large tenant by combining the total space available and adding naming rights into the mix.

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Photo Courtesy of: www.willistower.com