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ArchGuy1
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The Sears Tower in Chicago

Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:33 pm

About 5 years ago, the Sears Tower in Chicago was sold, but kept the name Willis Tower as it had been called since 2009. Before that, the famous skyscraper had been called the Sears Tower since it was built in the early 1970's. The building is 1,450 feet tall with 108 floors and is primarily an office building, but has an observation deck on the 103rd floor. Hopefully, the name will change back to Sears Tower next time naming rights become an issue again or the building is sold again.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1312759&p=18518715&hilit=Sears+tower#p18518715
 
LittleFokker
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:59 pm

ArchGuy1 wrote:
About 5 years ago, the Sears Tower in Chicago was sold, but kept the name Willis Tower as it had been called since 2009. Before that, the famous skyscraper had been called the Sears Tower since it was built in the early 1970's. The building is 1,450 feet tall with 108 floors and is primarily an office building, but has an observation deck on the 103rd floor. Hopefully, the name will change back to Sears Tower next time naming rights become an issue again or the building is sold again.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1312759&p=18518715&hilit=Sears+tower#p18518715


I don't have access to the agreement between the building and Willis with regards to naming rights, but I think they were guaranteed 20 (?) years of naming rights as part of their deal, but they are not even a major tenant. United Airlines has extended the lease through 2033 and is currently the building's largest tenant, occupying 17 floors.

The building is almost complete with a $500 million remodel, which most notably, demolished the underground parking garage to put in a shopping/restaurant area with an outdoor plaza on the roof. It also includes a complete remodel of all lower floors and exterior facades of the 3 entrances. Bad timing with the virus, as half of the new restaurants that have opened have closed with the lack of business. Will be fascinating to see what percentage of capacity the building returns to after the virus has calmed down and become manageable.
"All human activities are doomed to failure." - Jean Paul Sartre
 
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ER757
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:14 pm

I remember watching the thing get built while I was attending the University of Illinois Chicago campus. It will always be Sears Tower to me. I never went up the the observation deck until the late 1980's just before I moved away. Had relatives visiting from out of state and of course they wanted to go. I had always gone to the Hancock Building's observation deck up to that point. It was just around the corner from my favorite pizza joint Gino's East.
 
ArchGuy1
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:41 pm

ER757 wrote:
I remember watching the thing get built while I was attending the University of Illinois Chicago campus. It will always be Sears Tower to me. I never went up the the observation deck until the late 1980's just before I moved away. Had relatives visiting from out of state and of course they wanted to go. I had always gone to the Hancock Building's observation deck up to that point. It was just around the corner from my favorite pizza joint Gino's East.

How many times have you been to the observation deck of the Sears Tower since your first visit?
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:09 pm

LittleFokker wrote:
I don't have access to the agreement between the building and Willis with regards to naming rights, but I think they were guaranteed 20 (?) years of naming rights as part of their deal, but they are not even a major tenant. United Airlines has extended the lease through 2033 and is currently the building's largest tenant, occupying 17 floors.


It'll be cool to have the Sears become United Tower, wouldn't it?
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johns624
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:51 pm

ArchGuy1 wrote:
Hopefully, the name will change back to Sears Tower next time naming rights become an issue again or the building is sold again.
I doubt if Sears has enough extra money to buy the naming rights, even if it was just a dime.
 
luckyone
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:11 pm

It won't really matter who buys the naming rights. To anyone who lives or has lived in Chicago, it's the Sears Tower. Heck, even people who moved there after Macy's purchased Marshall Field calls the downtown location "the old Marshall Field," particularly if they have friends who are locals.
 
ArchGuy1
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:39 am

LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
About 5 years ago, the Sears Tower in Chicago was sold, but kept the name Willis Tower as it had been called since 2009. Before that, the famous skyscraper had been called the Sears Tower since it was built in the early 1970's. The building is 1,450 feet tall with 108 floors and is primarily an office building, but has an observation deck on the 103rd floor. Hopefully, the name will change back to Sears Tower next time naming rights become an issue again or the building is sold again.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1312759&p=18518715&hilit=Sears+tower#p18518715


I don't have access to the agreement between the building and Willis with regards to naming rights, but I think they were guaranteed 20 (?) years of naming rights as part of their deal, but they are not even a major tenant. United Airlines has extended the lease through 2033 and is currently the building's largest tenant, occupying 17 floors.

The building is almost complete with a $500 million remodel, which most notably, demolished the underground parking garage to put in a shopping/restaurant area with an outdoor plaza on the roof. It also includes a complete remodel of all lower floors and exterior facades of the 3 entrances. Bad timing with the virus, as half of the new restaurants that have opened have closed with the lack of business. Will be fascinating to see what percentage of capacity the building returns to after the virus has calmed down and become manageable.

Do you actually work in the Sears Tower.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:26 am

Is United the only US airline that doesn't have their own dedicated headquarters building?
 
ArchGuy1
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:47 am

LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
About 5 years ago, the Sears Tower in Chicago was sold, but kept the name Willis Tower as it had been called since 2009. Before that, the famous skyscraper had been called the Sears Tower since it was built in the early 1970's. The building is 1,450 feet tall with 108 floors and is primarily an office building, but has an observation deck on the 103rd floor. Hopefully, the name will change back to Sears Tower next time naming rights become an issue again or the building is sold again.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1312759&p=18518715&hilit=Sears+tower#p18518715


I don't have access to the agreement between the building and Willis with regards to naming rights, but I think they were guaranteed 20 (?) years of naming rights as part of their deal, but they are not even a major tenant. United Airlines has extended the lease through 2033 and is currently the building's largest tenant, occupying 17 floors.

The building is almost complete with a $500 million remodel, which most notably, demolished the underground parking garage to put in a shopping/restaurant area with an outdoor plaza on the roof. It also includes a complete remodel of all lower floors and exterior facades of the 3 entrances. Bad timing with the virus, as half of the new restaurants that have opened have closed with the lack of business. Will be fascinating to see what percentage of capacity the building returns to after the virus has calmed down and become manageable.

Where is the outdoor plaza on the roof that you are referring to located?
 
LittleFokker
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:02 am

ArchGuy1 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
About 5 years ago, the Sears Tower in Chicago was sold, but kept the name Willis Tower as it had been called since 2009. Before that, the famous skyscraper had been called the Sears Tower since it was built in the early 1970's. The building is 1,450 feet tall with 108 floors and is primarily an office building, but has an observation deck on the 103rd floor. Hopefully, the name will change back to Sears Tower next time naming rights become an issue again or the building is sold again.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1312759&p=18518715&hilit=Sears+tower#p18518715


I don't have access to the agreement between the building and Willis with regards to naming rights, but I think they were guaranteed 20 (?) years of naming rights as part of their deal, but they are not even a major tenant. United Airlines has extended the lease through 2033 and is currently the building's largest tenant, occupying 17 floors.

The building is almost complete with a $500 million remodel, which most notably, demolished the underground parking garage to put in a shopping/restaurant area with an outdoor plaza on the roof. It also includes a complete remodel of all lower floors and exterior facades of the 3 entrances. Bad timing with the virus, as half of the new restaurants that have opened have closed with the lack of business. Will be fascinating to see what percentage of capacity the building returns to after the virus has calmed down and become manageable.

Where is the outdoor plaza on the roof that you are referring to located?


It will be above the new entrance on Jackson St. The new Skydeck entrance will have restaurants and shops, and above it all will be an outdoor garden area accessible from the 4th floor. Google Maps has at least updated the image of the building with construction images, and I think the street views are somewhat current too.
"All human activities are doomed to failure." - Jean Paul Sartre
 
ArchGuy1
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:12 am

LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:

I don't have access to the agreement between the building and Willis with regards to naming rights, but I think they were guaranteed 20 (?) years of naming rights as part of their deal, but they are not even a major tenant. United Airlines has extended the lease through 2033 and is currently the building's largest tenant, occupying 17 floors.

The building is almost complete with a $500 million remodel, which most notably, demolished the underground parking garage to put in a shopping/restaurant area with an outdoor plaza on the roof. It also includes a complete remodel of all lower floors and exterior facades of the 3 entrances. Bad timing with the virus, as half of the new restaurants that have opened have closed with the lack of business. Will be fascinating to see what percentage of capacity the building returns to after the virus has calmed down and become manageable.

Where is the outdoor plaza on the roof that you are referring to located?


It will be above the new entrance on Jackson St. The new Skydeck entrance will have restaurants and shops, and above it all will be an outdoor garden area accessible from the 4th floor. Google Maps has at least updated the image of the building with construction images, and I think the street views are somewhat current too.

Have you personally been to the observation deck of the Sears Tower and if so, did you stand on the glass boxes.
 
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ER757
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:43 pm

ArchGuy1 wrote:
ER757 wrote:
I remember watching the thing get built while I was attending the University of Illinois Chicago campus. It will always be Sears Tower to me. I never went up the the observation deck until the late 1980's just before I moved away. Had relatives visiting from out of state and of course they wanted to go. I had always gone to the Hancock Building's observation deck up to that point. It was just around the corner from my favorite pizza joint Gino's East.

How many times have you been to the observation deck of the Sears Tower since your first visit?

Only up there two or three times before I moved to Seattle 30 years ago
 
LittleFokker
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:26 pm

ArchGuy1 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
Where is the outdoor plaza on the roof that you are referring to located?


It will be above the new entrance on Jackson St. The new Skydeck entrance will have restaurants and shops, and above it all will be an outdoor garden area accessible from the 4th floor. Google Maps has at least updated the image of the building with construction images, and I think the street views are somewhat current too.

Have you personally been to the observation deck of the Sears Tower and if so, did you stand on the glass boxes.


I have been to the top a few times, but I can't summon the muster to go out on the glass box. I just don't see how it's architecturally sound. A few times, the first layer of glass has shattered causing the person on it to rightly freak the hell out.
"All human activities are doomed to failure." - Jean Paul Sartre
 
stlgph
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:59 pm

Naming rights make me laugh. One of the few cases where it has caught on is the United Center in Chicago - which people probably at this point don't even remotely associate with United Airlines - they associate United Center with United Center.

But yes, Sears Tower - a waste of money for Willis because as mentioned, practically no one calls it the Willis Tower. Even flying into Chicago a few months ago -- "great views of the Sears Tower on approach to Midway" etc etc.

As far as naming rights - reminds me a few years ago when Verizon Wireless spent close to 1/4 of a billion or so to Live Nation to rename outdoor music amphitheaters to "Verizon Wireless Music Center" -- and a bunch of them - Charlotte, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Virginia Beach, Charlotte, San Antonio and I believe Irvine. Their studies found the investment did absolutely nothing for their brand - in Indianapolis (Noblesville), at the venue which was known as Deer Creek - even the performers on stage still called it Deer Creek during their shows. Verizon got out of most of the deal after 5 years, if even that. Deer Creek in particular I think has changed names 4 or 5 times since then - all names which none of the locals use. It's still called Deer Creek or people just say "I saw the show in Noblesville, or I went to the Noblesville, or the band played Noblesville."
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LittleFokker
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:51 pm

stlgph wrote:
Naming rights make me laugh. One of the few cases where it has caught on is the United Center in Chicago - which people probably at this point don't even remotely associate with United Airlines - they associate United Center with United Center.


The United Center has had the advantage of having that name ready for the opening in 1994. Nobody knew of any other name for it besides "Replacement Chicago Stadium." When that's the situation, naming rights are worth the money. Same for Staples Center in LA and American Airlines Center in Dallas, the only names those buildings have ever had.

stlgph wrote:
But yes, Sears Tower - a waste of money for Willis because as mentioned, practically no one calls it the Willis Tower. Even flying into Chicago a few months ago -- "great views of the Sears Tower on approach to Midway" etc etc.


Willis didn't pay extra for the naming rights. The building packaged it in as a deal sweetener as the economy was in the tank and they were desperate for tenants.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_Tower

Per Wiki, the naming rights are set to expire in 2024, so there will be an opportunity for change. I can't see it officially reverting to Sears, since that company is damn near dead anyways (sadly). I think most Chicagoans would be more okay calling it United Tower over Willis Tower, since United has a long history with the city.
"All human activities are doomed to failure." - Jean Paul Sartre
 
stlgph
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:00 pm

Willis pays $1 million per year for the naming rights.
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OMP777X
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:58 pm

LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:

It will be above the new entrance on Jackson St. The new Skydeck entrance will have restaurants and shops, and above it all will be an outdoor garden area accessible from the 4th floor. Google Maps has at least updated the image of the building with construction images, and I think the street views are somewhat current too.

Have you personally been to the observation deck of the Sears Tower and if so, did you stand on the glass boxes.

I have been to the top a few times, but I can't summon the muster to go out on the glass box. I just don't see how it's architecturally sound. A few times, the first layer of glass has shattered causing the person on it to rightly freak the hell out.

I used to work on the crew with the house electricians at Sears Tower (and other properties around Chicago) and was there right after they installed those boxes. They are incredibly safe. The top layer is meant to crack like it did when that has happened. It is basically only at risk of becoming stuck outside of the building because the tracks have motors that can break. It can still be scary to trust it, but the work they did on those in design and engineering of them is solid. They are well maintained. Same with the rig at Hancock that tilts outside.

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ArchGuy1
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:29 am

LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:

I don't have access to the agreement between the building and Willis with regards to naming rights, but I think they were guaranteed 20 (?) years of naming rights as part of their deal, but they are not even a major tenant. United Airlines has extended the lease through 2033 and is currently the building's largest tenant, occupying 17 floors.

The building is almost complete with a $500 million remodel, which most notably, demolished the underground parking garage to put in a shopping/restaurant area with an outdoor plaza on the roof. It also includes a complete remodel of all lower floors and exterior facades of the 3 entrances. Bad timing with the virus, as half of the new restaurants that have opened have closed with the lack of business. Will be fascinating to see what percentage of capacity the building returns to after the virus has calmed down and become manageable.

Where is the outdoor plaza on the roof that you are referring to located?


It will be above the new entrance on Jackson St. The new Skydeck entrance will have restaurants and shops, and above it all will be an outdoor garden area accessible from the 4th floor. Google Maps has at least updated the image of the building with construction images, and I think the street views are somewhat current too.

Where will people park now that the garage no longer exists?
 
LittleFokker
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:40 am

ArchGuy wrote:
Where will people park now that the garage no longer exists?


Same place they always have. The attached garage was not very large, maybe 100 spaces tops. Only high level executives of the tenants got to use those spaces. Across Franklin St is a 4 story garage that markets itself as primary parking for the tower, and there's a much larger garage about a block south that also caters to the SkyDeck crowd. But a big chunk of employees working there use public transportation. Union Station is just a short walk right across the river.
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ArchGuy1
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:01 am

LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy wrote:
Where will people park now that the garage no longer exists?


Same place they always have. The attached garage was not very large, maybe 100 spaces tops. Only high level executives of the tenants got to use those spaces. Across Franklin St is a 4 story garage that markets itself as primary parking for the tower, and there's a much larger garage about a block south that also caters to the SkyDeck crowd. But a big chunk of employees working there use public transportation. Union Station is just a short walk right across the river.

Will more people start using public transportation because of this?
 
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T18
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:38 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
Is United the only US airline that doesn't have their own dedicated headquarters building?

I don't believe so, but among the legacies they maybe, pretty sure a number of regionals are tenants.

I do find it funny, I've only ever flow to Chicago and of the 3 flights I've never seen the city at all, last two the cloud deck was so low all we saw was cloud until we broke out a few hundred above mins. So I've been to Chicago 3 times and still haven't seen much more than the C gates at O'Hare.
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FTMCPIUS
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:43 am

LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:

It will be above the new entrance on Jackson St. The new Skydeck entrance will have restaurants and shops, and above it all will be an outdoor garden area accessible from the 4th floor. Google Maps has at least updated the image of the building with construction images, and I think the street views are somewhat current too.

Have you personally been to the observation deck of the Sears Tower and if so, did you stand on the glass boxes.


I have been to the top a few times, but I can't summon the muster to go out on the glass box. I just don't see how it's architecturally sound. A few times, the first layer of glass has shattered causing the person on it to rightly freak the hell out.

I have been to the real top (outside) many times some years ago. My company maintained two-way radio repeater stations and their antennae, so we had access to the roof. I took my secretary up there once and she insisted on staying in the center. You can look down the west side of the building and it's straight down to the sidewalk. You didn't want to spend a lot of time up there -- RF intensive. Especially the 50,000 watt TV & FM transmitters.
 
ArchGuy1
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Re: The Sears Tower in Chicago

Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:57 am

LittleFokker wrote:
ArchGuy wrote:
Where will people park now that the garage no longer exists?


Same place they always have. The attached garage was not very large, maybe 100 spaces tops. Only high level executives of the tenants got to use those spaces. Across Franklin St is a 4 story garage that markets itself as primary parking for the tower, and there's a much larger garage about a block south that also caters to the SkyDeck crowd. But a big chunk of employees working there use public transportation. Union Station is just a short walk right across the river.

Have you been to the 99th floor of the Sears Tower as well.

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