America’s tallest building is getting a new name. The Sears Tower will soon become the Willis Tower as the result of a new client moving in. The change is expected to happen by the summer.
Sears Tower, Willis Tower
The 110-story Chicago building’s new name comes from Willis Group Holdings, an insurance broker based in London. The company has signed a lease to take up 140,000 square feet of office space in the Sears Tower. About 500 employees are expected to work there, the company tells Chicago newspapers, with relocation set to begin in a matter of months.
Willis Group Holdings says it’ll pay a rent of $14.50 per square foot and is not paying anything extra to have the building renamed Willis Tower.
The Sears Tower has been around since 1973. The name originally came from the headquartering of Sears Roebuck and Co. there in the 70s. Sears moved to Hoffman Estates in the early 90s. Its naming rights evidently expired a few years ago, and the name just hadn’t been changed until now.
The Sears Tower/Willis Tower owners are also reportedly looking at recoating the building to give it a silver exterior, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The change would be designed both to improve energy consumption and to better promote the building to potential new clients.