Blackstone Group to buy Willis Tower

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Monday, March 16, 2015
Willis Tower

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The private equity firm Blackstone Group plans to buy the iconic Chicago Willis Tower skyscraper, the company confirmed Monday.

The report said Blackstone plans to invest heavily in the retail portion of the 110-story building and upgrade the observation deck.

But the current deal for the naming rights doesn't expire until 2025, so it appears it will remain the Willis Tower.

The Willis Tower is a 3.8 million square-foot office building in downtown Chicago and is the second-tallest office building in the United States and the fifth-tallest office building in the world. The building also features a top Chicago tourist attraction in the Skydeck on the 103rd floor, which attracts 1.6 million visitors per year.

MarketWatch reported the sale would be worth $1.3 billion, which would be the highest price ever paid for a U.S. office tower outside of New York.