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Has the Willis Tower Already Found a $1.5 Billion Buyer?

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The superlatives don't stop when it comes to the potential Willis Tower sale. Crain's reports that New York-based Blackstone Group, which already control a real estate portfolio worth $81 billion, has a preliminary agreement to purchase the Willis Tower for $1.5 billion. If these advanced talks develop progress to a final sale, current owners Joseph Chetrit, Joseph Moinian and American Landmark Properties stand to make hundreds of millions of dollars based on the $840 million they paid in 2004 for the then-Sears Tower.

While the Crain's piece estimates the tower generates $10,000 of income every hour and has a diverse income streams, including the Skydeck and retail, the decades-old tower still be a challenge for the new owners, since it's only 84 percent leased and requires roughly $100 million in upkeep and modernization. There's also the issue of the name -- currently, it costs Willis $1 million a year, and the new owner would have the option of buying out the naming rights. It's not quite Blackstone Tower yet, but with the company performing due diligence, it's getting close.

·Blackstone in talks to buy Willis Tower for $1.5 billion [Crain's]
Previous Willis Tower coverage [Curbed Chicago]