Airline Moving HQ to Iconic Chicago Real Estate

August 14, 2012

The world’s largest airline is making Chicago real estate history at the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

United Airlines moving to Willis Tower in Chicago

Willis Tower in Chicago

United Airlines has signed one of the largest office leases ever in Chicago history to make Willis Tower the company’s home for the next 16 years.

The carrier already calls the historic Chicago real estate home to its new Network Operations Center. Now, the company is moving its corporate headquarters out from another downtown building, at 77 W. Wacker, and into Willis Tower.

When all is said and done, United will occupy about 25 percent of one of the world’s most famous buildings.

“The fact that United has brought its company under one roof and extended their commitment to downtown is great news for all Chicagoans,” said Mayor Emanuel.

“This deal shows United’s commitment to Chicago for a generation; it ensures our hometown airline will be here, and means that quality jobs and economic activity will remain in the area for years to come.”

The lease, which runs through 2028, provides the air carrier with 16 floors, or 830,000 square feet, in iconic Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower, which occupies an entire city block and has its own zip code.

Upon completion, United will have more than 4,000 employees working in downtown Chicago and more than 14,000 total employed around Chicagoland, including O’Hare.

“Willis Tower provides a dynamic work environment for our employees. This is an important step as we continue to work together to build the world’s leading airline,” said Brett Hart, United’s EVP and General Counsel, who oversees the company’s corporate real estate.

“Our employees are embracing downtown Chicago as our new home, and we are committed to this world-class city.”

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