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Blackstone Group Secures Permit To Start Willis Tower Retail Improvements

A rendering of Blackstone Group's planned renovations for Willis Tower, viewed from the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Wacker Drive

Blackstone Group and Equity Office's $500M renovations to Willis Tower will be kicking into high gear after the Chicago Department of Buildings issued a construction permit for Blackstone and Equity to begin building a new retail annex in Chicago's tallest building.

The permit allows for demolition of lower levels LL1, LL2 and LL3 and upper levels L1, L2 and L3. Once that is completed, a new structure will be added to the base of the building. According to the permit, this phase of construction is estimated at $50M.

Blackstone Group's Willis renovations include 300K SF of new retail, dining and entertainment options. Requests for comment from Equity Office regarding a timetable for completion of the build-out were not returned. Shake Shack has already signed a 3K SF lease at Willis.