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The Weekend Desk Report

"Private equity giant Blackstone Group LP is in advanced discussions to buy the Willis Tower in Chicago, the country's second-tallest skyscraper, for about $1.5 billion according to a person briefed on the talks," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"If completed, it would be by far the highest price paid ever for a building in Chicago, and well above the $841 million that the iconic black tower - formerly known as the Sears Tower - last traded for in 2004 when it was sold to a group that includes New York investors Joseph Chetrit and Joseph Moinian."

I can speak for all Chicagoans when I say I hope they change the name back. Maybe we can do a Kickstarter to acquire the naming rights.

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"A new owner will have upside on potential naming rights of the Skydeck, as well as for the tower's name," Crain's reports.

"Willis [Holdings] pays a below-market $1 million per year to have its name and signage on the building . . . although it's unclear how much it would cost to buy out Willis' contract."

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The Tribune's Phil Rosenthal on the name game.

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I think that's all most Chicagoans care about when it comes to this deal, but there are a few other interesting aspects.

"Willis Tower has several regular revenue streams unique to its building," the Tribune reports.

"Its Skydeck on the 103rd floor reaped about $25 million in admissions revenue in 2014, an amount that has been climbing annually. Its broadcast antennas brought in more than $13 million in the 12 months ended in November."

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"Along with the distinction of owning one of the world's best-known pieces of real estate comes control of a property that reaps about $10,000 of income every hour," Crain's says.

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"The 1,451-foot tower is often viewed within Chicago as second-tier real estate despite its soaring views and height, given that much of the city's top-quality property is concentrated on the other side of the Chicago River and closer to Lake Michigan," the Journal says.

Tallest second-tier real estate ever.

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The Beachwood Radio Hour
In production!

This Week In Chicago Rock
In production!

Beachwood Sports Radio: Bears Get Boring
Bears stripping team of drama queens. Segments include: Bye Bye Brandon; Who The Hell Is E'Twaun Moore?; The Big Boy Blackhawks; Free Tony Campana!; Joe Maddon Is A Madman; The Mesmerizing Minnie Minoso; and The Chicago Fire Do Some Stuff.

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The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "Jim and Greg don their stethoscopes for another installment of Rock Doctors. This time they help a newly divorced patient in need of a jolt of musical adrenaline. Then they review the new album from New Jersey punk band Screaming Females."

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TweetWood

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The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Squiddish.



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Posted on March 7, 2015


MUSIC - Blues Fest 2017.
TV - The Queen's Speech.
POLITICS - Psychopath CEOs Destroy Value.
SPORTS - Why Todd Frazier Should Lead Off.

BOOKS - The Fresh Air Fund's Complicated Racial Record.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Great Lakes Have Tsunamis.


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