The structure was completed in May 1973. Willis Tower is owned by Blackstone and managed by EQ Office. In affirming the lower court rulings, it held that "absent legislation to the contrary, defendant has a proprietary right to construct a building to its desired height and that completion of the project would not constitute a nuisance under the circumstances of this case." However, the extension of the tower's western antenna in June 2000 to 1,729 feet (527 m) allowed it to just barely claim the title of tallest building by pinnacle height. According to a report from The Associated Press, the company received the naming rights at no extra cost as part of its lease agreement with the building’s owners. Sears decided to focus their initial occupancy on housing their merchandise group, renting out the remaining space to other tenants until needed. Although Sears sold the tower in 1994 and had completely vacated it by 1995, the company retained the naming rights to the building through 2003. In January 2009, a major renovation of the Skydeck was begun, including the installation of retractable glass balconies which extend approximately 4 feet (1.2 m) from the facade of the 103rd floor, overlooking South Wacker Drive. The 103rd floor observation deck is 1,354 ft (413 m) above the Franklin Street entrance. It was topped with two antennas for television and radio broadcasting. According to the tower’s owners, the second building was considered in the original design. London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd[dubious – discuss] leased more than 140,000 square feet (13,000 m2) of space on three floors in 2009. They use Willis Tower for cover before using wing suits to descend into the city streets. The construction cost about US$150 million,[18] equivalent to $860 million in 2020 dollars. The restrooms on the 103rd floor, at 1,353 ft (412 m) high, are the highest (relative to street level) in the Western Hemisphere. In 1969, Sears, Roebuck & Co. was the largest retailer in the world, with about 350,000 employees. In the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, it is featured in a number of scenes. [63] The naming rights are valid for 15 years, so it is possible that the building's name could change again as soon as 2024. The first suit was filed by the state attorney in neighboring Lake County on March 17, 1972. The Skydeck elevators rise from Lower Level 2 which gives a total rise of approximately 1,382 feet to the 103rd floor. Details. The latter floor areas had to be designed to a smaller footprint with a high window-space to floor-space ratio to be attractive to prospective lessees. [38] After three trials, five of the suspects were convicted and two acquitted. The naming rights are valid for 15 years, so it is possible that the building's name could change again as soon as 2024. Although Sears' naming rights expired in 2003, the building continued to be called the Sears Tower for … In February 1982, two television antennas were added to the structure, increasing its total height to 1,707 feet (520.3 m). Time magazine called the name change one of the top 10 worst corporate name changes and pointed to negative press coverage by local news outlets and online petitions from angry residents. [41], Since 2007, the owners had considered plans for the construction of a hotel on the north side of Jackson Boulevard, between Wacker Drive and Franklin Street, close to the entrance of the observation deck, above the tower's underground parking garage. Now broadcasting only in digital. The Wacker Drive entrance is six feet higher than the Franklin Street entrance, lower Wacker Drive/Lower Level 1 is approximately 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m) lower than the Wacker Drive entrance and 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m) lower than Franklin Street. The firm consulted with local and federal authorities and the applicable law, then offered Sears two options: the The design for Willis Tower incorporates nine steel-unit square tubes in a 3-tube by 3-tube arrangement, with each having the footprint of 75 ft × 75 ft (23 m × 23 m). The height was restricted by a limit imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to protect air traffic. In the movie Category 6: Day of Destruction, it is damaged by a tornado. Even though regulations did not require a fire sprinkler system, the building was equipped with one from the beginning. It was hoped that a new, silver, paint-job would "rebrand" the building and highlight its advances in energy efficiency for an estimated cost of $50 million. Eastdil, the commercial real estate firm handling the sale, thinks that London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings got a steal at $1 million per year for … An online petition was created to change their decision. At completion in 1973, it surpassed the World Trade Center in New York City to become the tallest building in the world, a title that it held for nearly 25 years; it was also the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere for 41 years, until the new One World Trade Center surpassed it in 2014. All taller buildings use concrete or composite construction. As part of the 1994 agreement, AEW and Metlife would be able to take official ownership of the building in 2003. The new owners were rebuffed in renaming deals with CDW Corp in 2005 and the U.S. Olympic Committee in 2008. The Sears Tower in Chicago - one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world - is being renamed. A Willis spokesman said the naming rights were obtained as part of the negotiations at no cost to Willis[62][63][64] and the building was renamed Willis Tower on July 16, 2009. Its roof is 1,450 ft 7 in (442 m) above street level or 2,046 ft (624 m) above sea level, the 103rd floor observation deck (The Sky Deck) is 1,353 ft (412 m) above street level or 1,948 ft (593.8 m) above sea level, and the Franklin Street entrance is 595 ft (181 m) above sea level. The Willis Group, a UK-based insurance broker will hold the naming rights until at least 2024. The remaining west and center tubes reach 108 floors. In 2009, the London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings leased more than 140,000 square feet of office space on three floors of the Sears Tower. Former Sears Tower in the world 's tallest building by pinnacle height possible that one of the Tower one... To being heavily damaged by a limit imposed by the Willis Tower in own! 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