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The Willis Tower And Hancock Center Could Be Getting New Names

By Rachel Cromidas in News on May 20, 2016 5:26PM

Naming-rights negotiations for two of Chicago's most well-known skyscrapers are underway, Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed is reporting.

The deals could mean new names are on the horizon for the Willis Tower, which was known as the Sears Tower until 2009, and the John Hancock Center.

Anonymous sources told Sneed that the Hancock Center's owners, Hearn Co., are close to signing a naming-rights deal and have hired a naming-rights consultant. Meanwhile, the naming rights to the Willis Tower are also up for negotiation. The tower was sold to the Blackstone Group for $1.3 billion last year, in one of the biggest American real estate deals outside of New York City and is set for a major remodeling. But, though it is officially the Willis Tower after Willis Group Holdings, an insurance broker, leased the naming rights in 2009, many still staunchly refer to it as the Sears Tower. We can only imagine a re-naming making the divide over how to refer to the iconic, 1970s tower even wider.

As of this year, the Willis Tower is no longer one of the 10 tallest buildings in the world at 1,451 feet. What more can they take from us!