WILLIS TOWER’S NEWEST TENANTS GIVE NOD TO BUILDING’S $500 MILLION RENOVATION

June 21, 2018

EQ Office, the U.S. office portfolio company wholly owned by Blackstone’s real estate funds, announced today new tenant developments for Willis Tower. Environmental Systems Design (ESD), a global consulting-engineering firm focused on high-performance buildings, has moved into Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, while Virtu Financial, a leading global financial firm, has signed a new lease for office space in the building.

ESD, a leader in improving society through the built environment, moved its headquarters from 175 W. Jackson Blvd. to Willis Tower in April 2018. ESD’s 275 employees work in its new 47,000-square-foot office that spans the entire 53rd floor and part of the 54th floor. ESD’s new office space features several cutting-edge capabilities, including a living lab, motorized height-adjustable desks, sensor-connected work surfaces and efficient light technologies.

“Moving into Willis Tower provided ESD with the perfect opportunity to develop an innovative work environment that engages and excites our team and our customers,” said Raj P. Gupta, Executive Chairman, ESD. “Our new living lab is designed to foster innovation, attract the brightest prospects and retain our top talent.”

Separately, Virtu Financial has signed a lease for 5,400 square feet of office space on the 40th floor of Willis Tower. While the company is currently located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, by the end of May, 40 Virtu employees will begin working in the new Willis Tower space. Virtu Financial is a technology-enabled market maker and liquidity provider to global financial markets that buys and sells a broad range of securities and other financial instruments. Virtu provides quotations to buyers and sellers in more than 25,000 securities and other financial instruments on more than 235 venues, markets and liquidity pools in 36 countries worldwide.

“We are excited to partner with Environmental Systems Design and Virtu Financial, two companies that are global innovators in their respective industries,” said David Moore, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Director, Equity Office. “Willis Tower is becoming the modern workplace, providing businesses and their employees with first-class tenant amenities, and we’re so happy to welcome these two great organizations to their new home.”

These tenant developments are the latest in a series of new activity at Willis Tower, which is currently undergoing a $500 million renovation plan, the biggest restorative transformation project in the building’s 43-year history. The renovations include more than 300,000 square feet of new retail, 150,000 square feet of space for new tenant use, a 30,000-square-foot outdoor deck and garden, as well as dining and entertainment space at the base of the building.

For more information on the renovation project and available tenant space, visit www.WillisTower.com.

 

About EQ Office
We are EQ Office. While other real estate owners talk about square footage and floor plans, we focus on the experience; how space feels, activates and performs. At EQ, we partner with business leaders to find, design and manage balanced workspaces with the intention of helping to inspire talent. We’re proud to work hand-in-hand with customers of all sizes from Fortune 100 companies to emerging startups to bring humanity back to the work place. Our diverse team of over 200 professionals is responsible for creating inspired office environments in cities across the country including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston. What began as Equity Office Properties 42 years ago, now reflects a new intelligence needed to address shifting workplace needs, as EQ Office. As a U.S. office portfolio company wholly owned by Blackstone's real estate funds, we have the resources to lead the changes happening in work space. Explore your space for greatness at www.eqoffice.com.

About Willis Tower
Located at 233 S. Wacker Drive in the heart of downtown Chicago, Willis Tower is an urban destination and state-of-the art workplace that welcomes prominent businesses ranging from law firms to large airline corporations to insurance companies. Standing 1,450 feet and 110 stories tall, Willis Tower has the region’s most breathtaking views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. Willis Tower’s Skydeck attracts more than 1.7 million visitors each year with its inviting hospitality and memorable experiences, all under one roof. In early 2017, Blackstone and Equity Office announced plans for the biggest restorative transformation project in the building’s 43-year history. The $500 million renovation project now underway will add more than 300,000 square feet of new retail, dining and entertainment space at the base of the tower, 150,000 square feet of new tenant amenity spaces, and a 30,000 square-foot outdoor deck and garden. Willis Tower was recently named to the Illinois Council of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Illinois’ 200 Great Places list. For more information, visit www.WillisTower.com.

About Environmental Systems Design

A global company, Environmental Systems Design is a leader in Improving Society Through the Built Environment. ESD creates solutions that produce economic, environmental and experiential benefits for their clients, many of whom are the biggest names in the worlds of business, technology – and beyond. ESD embraces technological change and emphasizes innovation, adaptability and sustainability while providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, life safety and technology engineering. For more information, please visit www.esdglobal.com.

About Virtu Financial
Virtu Financial is a technology-enabled market maker and liquidity provider to the global financial markets, buying and selling a broad range of securities and other financial instruments. Virtu makes markets by providing quotations to buyers and sellers in more than 25,000 securities and other financial instruments on more than 235 venues, markets and liquidity pools in 36 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.virtu.com.