Who Owns America's Tallest Skyscrapers?
The country's biggest towers are, not surprisingly, owned by some of its biggest landlords. But unique partnerships and controversial moves have led to some surprises at the top.
1) World Trade Center
1 WTC, New York
Height: 1,776 feet
Owners: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Durst Organization
Claim to fame: America’s tallest, most emotionally resonant tower.
Star tenant: Condé Nast
Formerly known as: Freedom Tower
Prospects: Hugo Boss is eying the building for 100K SF of office space.
2) Willis Tower
233 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago
Height: 1,451 feet
Owners: Joe Chetrit, Joe Moinian and American Landmark Properties
Intrigue: Chetrit may be New York’s most enigmatic landlord. But his stake in Chicago’s tallest building helped cement a reputation that grows despite his press-shyness.
Formerly known as: Sears Tower
Tussles: Lost a battle with 1 WTC over whether the NYC tower’s spire should be included in its official height. Without it, Willis Tower would still be king.
3) Trump International Hotel and Tower
401 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago
Height: 1,389 feet
Owner: Trump Organization
Controversy: The Donald found himself in hot water when the large signage on his namesake Chicago tower teed off locals already wary of the celebrity developer.
Bragging rights: One of only three American towers left in the list of the world’s 20 tallest (it’s number 15).
4) Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue, New York
Height: 1,250 feet
Owner: Empire State Realty Trust
Tenant makeover: Tony Malkin’s newly public REIT is repositioning New York’s most famous old school skyscraper as a modern tech hub. Shutterstock inked an 85K SF deal there, and LinkedIn now occupies 160 K SF.
Location Location Location: Malkin insists that the tower belongs to the techy Midtown South submarket rather than Midtown, despite geographic arguments to the contrary.
Movie stardom: The building was famously scaled by a certain large monkey.
5) Bank of America Tower
1 Bryant Park
Height: 1,200 feet
Owner: Durst Organization
Claim to fame: The Durst family’s stunner across from Bryant Park was briefly New York’s second tallest building when it topped out.
Go West, young man: It boosted Sixth Avenue’s cred by tugging the heart of the Midtown business district westward.
Green card: As in other Durst properties, being green is a very vocal top priority.
The people’s spire: A coveted phone app lets invited users control the nighttime colors of the building’s prominent spire.
6) U.S. Bank Tower
633 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles
Height: 1,018 feet
Owner: Overseas Union Enterprise
Movie stardom: The aliens of Independence Day destroyed this property before any other.
Claim to fame: This is the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The Singaporean developer bought it last year for $367.5 million as it diversified beyond Asia.
Air rights: This was the tallest tower with a rooftop helipad in the world until Taipei 101 opened in 2004.
Notoriety: The building was reportedly a target of the 9/11 attackers.
7) Bank of America Plaza
600 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta
Height: 1,040 feet
Owner: CW Financial Services
Bragging rights: This is the South’s tallest building.
Comeback Kid?: CW picked up the tower after it went into foreclosure in 2012. A modern take on the Art Deco style, the property is in the midst of a reported $30 million makeover that CW hopes will lead to a much-needed revival.