It's Official: Blackstone Buys Willis Tower, Plans Retail and Observatory Changes
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Blackstone has acquired Chicago's Willis Tower for $1.3B from a New York-based group led by Joe Chetrit and Joe Moinian. America's second tallest skyscraper sold for slightly less than the $1.5B figure bandied about last week in initial reports that the private equity giant was in talks to buy the 110-story property formerly known as Sears Tower.
“We are bullish on Chicago as companies expand within and move into the city and look for first-class office space,” Blackstone managing director Jacob Werner said in a statement today. “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.”
Those futher improvements, at an estimated cost of $150M, will focus on the tower's retail portion and its 103rd floor observation deck, which with 1.6M visits a year ranks among the Windy City's top tourist attractions. [Bloomberg]