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Willis Tower Owners Testing Waters On Putting Building Up For Sale

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 3, 2011 1:38PM

The owners of Willis Tower have hired two brokerages to market the nation's tallest skyscraper in the search for an investor or an outright sale of the building.

Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc. Managing Director Bruce Miller told the Sun-Times that the market for commercial properties is currently strong, but the multiple floor layouts, various revenue streams and sheer size may not make it a tenable asset.

Bill Utter, spokesman for the building's current owners, said, "We can confirm that a recapitalization effort has commenced with a select number of qualified investors. Our goal is to make a strong building even stronger.” Chicago-based American Landmark Properties Ltd and New York developers Joseph Moinian of the Moinian Group and Joseph Chetrit of the Chetrit Group bought the building in 2004 for about $900 million. Sources told Reuters that the building currently carries $780 million of debt. The tower is 18 percent vacant right now, after United Airlines signed a lease for 650,000 square foot of space in the tower.

Wouldn't it be cool if that investor wound up being Sears and they insisted on switching the name of the tower back to Sears Tower?