CHICAGO — Willis Group Holdings, a leading risk management and insurance brokerage firm, has acquired naming rights to Chicago’s iconic Sears Tower, along with taking a significant amount of space with the office building. The 110-story tower, which is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, will now be known as Willis Tower. The company is occupying 140,000 square feet, which it has leased for $14.50 per square foot, within the 3.8 million-square-foot building. The naming rights come at no additional cost.
The lease agreement with Willis comes at a critical time for building owner 233 S. Wacker Drive LLC, as its largest tenant, Ernst & Young, has plans to vacate its approximately 387,000-square-foot space (including sublease space) for 204,000 square feet within The John Buck Company’s new office tower at 155 N. Wacker Drive.
Willis Group is consolidating its Chicago-area operations from five area offices — located at 10 South LaSalle Street, One East Wacker Drive and 222 North Riverside Drive, as well as in Oak Brook and Lombard — and plans to house approximately 500 employees in the new space when it takes occupancy. The move is expected to be complete by late summer. The location will serve as the company’s Midwest regional headquarters.