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Old 03-12-2009, 04:03 PM   #1
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Default OT: Sears Tower to become Willis Tower

Just saw this posted on another forum, thought I'd share.

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,7014962.story
chicagotribune.com
Sears Tower name to change to Willis Tower

Tribune staff report

12:55 PM CDT, March 12, 2009

Come this summer, Chicago's iconic landmark known around the world is getting a new moniker: Willis Tower.

Willis Group Holdings, a London-based insurance broker, announced Thursday that it will consolidate its area offices to Sears Tower and as part of the deal, gets to put its own name on the 36-year-old skyscraper.

Willis will move nearly 500 associates into Willis Tower, at 233 S. Wacker, initially occupying more than 140,000 square feet on multiple floors. The company said the move to the new space, at $14.50 per square foot, will result in significant real estate cost savings, and that there is no additional cost to the company associated with renaming the building.

"It was part of our negotiations," said Willis spokesman Will Thoretz. "We are actually not having to pay anything for renaming the building."

The rental information is accurate but the terms of the deal are incomplete, said a Sears Tower spokesman, who declined to provide additional information.

"The details that have been disclosed are not a complete picture of the agreement," the spokesman said. "We view the economic terms to be proprietary information and do not reveal those for any of our transactions."

The move is a coup for Willis, which counts Aon Corp. as one of its main competitors. Come this summer, Willis' name will be on a tower taller than Aon Center.

"It's a tremendous boost for the Willis brand in North America," Thoretz said. "We're especially well known in the U.K., but we're relatively unknown in North America. We really feel this will make us a household name in the U.S."

A spokesman for Aon said, "Chicago is firmly established as a global financial center so we welcome their support for the city."

But what of any potential backlash, or the inability of Chicagoans to call the building anything but Sears Tower? "Old habits die hard but we feel that ultimately people will come to embrace the Willis name," Thoretz said.

That remains to be seen. For building tenants, the name change will cause them to re-evaluate how they refer to their workplaces and, more importantly, how they direct visitors to their offices.

"I'll suppose I'll tell them the structure formerly known as Sear Tower," said Ronald Safer, managing partner at Tower tenant Schiff Hardin LLP, in a nod to 'the artist formerly known as Prince.' "It is a sign of the times. These former institutions, the names will change as the bidding dictates."

The addition of Willis partially offsets the loss of Ernst & Young, which announced late last year that it would leave its 387,000 square feet in Sears Tower this summer and relocate to John Buck Co.'s new building at 155 N. Wacker.

Sears, Roebuck & Co., now based in Hoffman Estates, finished construction on the office building in 1973 but has not had offices in it since 1992. At the time it was the tallest building in the world and built for what was then the world's largest retailer. It was eclipsed in 1998 and is now the skyscraper is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.

A spokeswoman for Sears said the retailer was not approached about striking a deal to keep its name on the building. "We're saddened but we don't own the rights to the building."

mepodmolik@tribune.com

Copyright © 2009, Chicago Tribune
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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I doubt anyone actually will call it that for a long time
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:14 PM   #4
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Watchutawkinbout?
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:16 PM   #5
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that is pretty Fing lame ...
And yea ludo I doubt anyone will call it that ...
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:23 PM   #6
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Great. Now we get to see Willis Tower Willis Tower Willis Tower on the backdrop every time they do a presser there.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:33 PM   #7
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Good deal for the owners of the building. They needed a big tenant from what it sounds like. What you talking about Willis!!!!!!
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:55 PM   #8
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Its Sears Tower...


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Old 03-12-2009, 05:13 PM   #9
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This makes me mad, I will still call it Sears tower for life
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:27 PM   #10
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I still call Chase Field - Bank One Ballpark (BOB) and AT&T Park - Pac-Bell
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:29 PM   #11
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Limey bastards... I hope they go bankrupt.

It will always be the Sears Tower.
It will always be Mile High Stadium.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:32 PM   #12
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Always be Candlestick Park, or the Orangebowl, or Three Rivers...maybe not...that stadium was horrible.


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Old 03-12-2009, 05:34 PM   #13
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What in the hell does this thread have to do with Jay Cutler
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBF1 View Post
What in the hell does this thread have to do with Jay Cutler
Apparently they didnt ask Cutler about the trade of names first.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodak View Post
Limey bastards... I hope they go bankrupt.

It will always be the Sears Tower.
It will always be Mile High Stadium.
Nice!
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:45 PM   #16
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Or someone told the name they wouldnt trade names to the name's face then someone called the name's front office asking about trading names and now that name is butthurt and acting like a homo.

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Old 03-12-2009, 08:40 PM   #17
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After they sold the rights to Mile High I don't care anymore, to me it will always be Sears Tower.

BTW if you have ever get to Chicago you have to check it out it is very cool, Plus I could see it down the road from my house over 20 miles away. It has quite the presence.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:59 PM   #18
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Josh McDaniels' incompetency led to an institution changing names. FIRE HIM!!!
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Nice!
Yeah, well. They just had to be English. I could call them scurvey dogs...
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:55 PM   #20
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Yeah, well. They just had to be English. I could call them scurvey dogs...
Why??
They are renting 140,000 sq feet of Chicago office space, and in the process, saving the building owner from probably bankruptcy.
Did you think there were American companies lining up to rent that space?
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:09 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverBrit View Post
Why??
They are renting 140,000 sq feet of Chicago office space, and in the process, saving the building owner from probably bankruptcy.
Did you think there were American companies lining up to rent that space?
Japs were going to buy it in the 90's, that fell through. This isn't the 1st time this has happened.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:46 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Japs were going to buy it in the 90's, that fell through. This isn't the 1st time this has happened.
It's the nature of the Global Economy......coming next, China and all those dollars they're holding.
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