Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and 233 South Wacker LLC today announced that they had signed a definitive agreement for Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII to acquire Chicago’s Willis Tower. The Willis Tower is a 3.8 million square-foot office building in downtown Chicago and, at 110 stories, is the second-tallest office building in the United States and the fifth-tallest office building in the world.
According to reports, Blackstone spent $1.3 billion on the iconic property, which is a Chicago-record for an office building.
When the deal finalizes it will be one of just 24 such purchases to surpass the $1 billion threshold within the United States and it will be one of only four domestic sales to occur outside of New York City.
New York currently holds the record for the largest domestic sale price of an office building, which was set in December of 2014 when the Crown Building at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street was dealt for $1.75 billion.
The sale will bound past the previous Chicago record which was set just last year when a 60-story building at 300 North LaSalle Street sold for for $850 million.
The Willis Tower also features a top Chicago tourist attraction in the Skydeck on the 103rd floor, which provides 1.6 million visitors per year with unmatched views of Chicago and the surrounding area.
Jacob Werner, a Managing Director in Blackstone’s real estate group, said, “We are delighted to be acquiring this iconic building on behalf of our limited partners. We are bullish on Chicago as companies expand within and move into the city and look for first-class office space. Moreover, we see great potential in further improving both the building’s retail operations and the tourist experience for one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Chicago.”
A representative of 233 South Wacker LLC said in a statement, “This is simply a unique asset in real estate in the United States and has been an excellent investment for us. We are very happy that Blackstone is buying it and know that they will continue to be an excellent steward of this world-famous building.”
Special thanks from the seller to Douglas Harmon of Eastdil Secured, who was the exclusive representative on the transaction.
Further terms of the transaction were not disclosed.