chi-willis2 (4) The base of the new Willis Tower will include retail and entertainment that will bring in visitors.

CHICAGO— Willis Tower may be the city’s most recognizable building, but it has not undergone a major renovation in its 43-year history. That will change in 2017. Equity Office, a portfolio company owned by Blackstone’s real estate funds, said yesterday at a press conference with Mayor Rahm Emanuel that it would invest $500 million in the iconic structure, bringing in a unique set of amenities, along with new retail and entertainment options.

“With this historic investment, the Willis Tower will remain a vibrant and modern icon that inspires both young and old for generations to come,” Mayor Emanuel said. “But more than that – today Blackstone is doubling-down on its confidence in the future we are building in the city of Chicago.”

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.

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