Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's Official: Sears Tower to become Willis Tower

Yesterday we told you about the article in the Wall Street Journal that stated if The Willis Group decided to consolidate its regional offices in the Sears Tower instead of the Citigroup Center that the building would be renamed Willis Tower.  Well, it actually happened.

The Willis Group is moving 500 employees from a several other buildings into the Sears Tower and it got the naming rights in the process.

Willis is paying $14.50/square foot for 140,000 square feet of office space in the Sears Willis Tower.  The owners of the building threw in the name for free.

It remains to be seen wether there will be an outcry over the name change, but considering all the corporate identities and other bits of Chicago history that have been lost over the last decade, there's little chance this won't go through.

Watch out, Wrigley Field .


  1. I can't get too worked up about the name change. Sears Tower was once a Chicago icon by virtue of its being the world's tallest building.

    Now that the distinction has been lost, it's just a big ugly building.

  2. While I'm undecided about whether it's an ugly building, I agree with you about how Sears Tower's (and Chicago's) prominence was lost when it ceased being the tallest building in the world.

    I don't think Chicagoans will get very worked up about this. But Sears would, if it knew what was good for it.

    The folks out in Hoffman Estates should give a dozen or so employees some paid time off to organize a "grassroots" campaign to keep the Sears name.

    Sears has been getting free publicity from the name for six years now. If the protesters can keep the name in the news for a few more months, it's money well spent. If they can keep the name on the building indefinitely (through landmarking or whatever), then it's an investment that pays for itself.

    I've sometimes wondered if the protest group that would show up outside the Macy's State Street store demanding the return of Marshall Fields' name wasn't somehow backed by Macy's.

    They kept popping up for months after everyone else had given up on the name. And when the TV camera crews stopped showing up to cover their protests, they stopped protesting.


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