London-based Willis Insurance Group Holdings is consolidating five of its local offices and more than 500 employees into more than 140,000 square feet in the 110-story Sears building at 233 S. Wacker Drive. The insurance broker announced Thursday morning that this move will also entail renaming what we have always known as the Sears Tower (without having to pay extra for the naming rights) to the Willis Tower.
Willis is the largest new tenant to move into Sears Tower since the 2001 terrorist attacks. In recent years, the building has suffered several big tenant losses, including its largest tenant, by rental revenue, Ernst & Young U.S. LLP, which is moving in 2012 to an almost-complete skyscraper at 155 N. Wacker Drive.
“Having our name associated with Chicago’s most iconic structure underscores our commitment to this great city, and recognizes Chicago’s importance as a major financial hub and international business center,” Joseph J. Plumeri, chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings, said in a release. “We are delighted to be making this bold move and firmly establishing our leading presence in one of the nation’s biggest insurance markets, and it will be wonderful for all our associates to work under one roof.”
I really don't have much to say except that I am not really pleased that such an iconic building will be losing its name. The "Willis Tower" just doesn't sound right at all. And how is it that they can rename the tower without having to pay for the naming rights?
Image obtained from: images.google.com
For more information, check: www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-biz-sears-tower-name-change-willis-march12,0,7014962.story