It’s official. As of last week, the Sears Tower no longer exists. The famous skyscraper that dominates Chicago’s skyline is still there, it just has a new name. On July 16th, the building was renamed as the Willis Tower, for the Willis Group Holdings company that received the naming rights back in March.
The tower was previously named for Sears Roebuck & Co., which was headquartered there and was the original tenant after the building’s completion in 1973. Though the company hadn’t operated out of the tower since 1993, the name remained. When the Willis Group made arrangements to lease space in the building, they asked for and were granted the right to rename the it.
Just how much does it cost to name the tallest building in the US? Absolutely nothing. The Willis Group is paying for the leased space, which accounts for less than 4% of the building’s total area, but is not paying anything extra for the naming rights.
The sign on the building has already been changed, but for many Chicagoans, the transition from Sears to Willis is going to be a long one.