Otis Finalizes Contract for Major Willis Tower Modernization Project

May 3, 2018

CHICAGO, May 3, 2018 – Chicago’s Willis Tower, one of the tallest and most famous buildings in the world, has turned to Otis to modernize its 83 elevators and 97 passenger cabs, including their respective machine rooms, motors, cables and controls as part of a larger renovation project. Otis, the world’s leading manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways, is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

Otis and Equity Office have finalized a contract to fully upgrade the building’s elevator cabs to Otis SkyRise® units using the CompassPlus™ destination management system. Otis SkyRise elevators are one of the world’s most advanced high-rise elevator systems, featuring stylish design, ultra-quiet operation, smart technology features and energy-efficient components. The CompassPlus system organizes traffic flow and provides a personalized passenger experience — sorting passengers into each elevator based on their destinations to get people where they’re going significantly faster than conventional dispatching systems. As part of the agreement, Otis will also provide maintenance service for the elevators for 10 years.

 “Otis is proud to provide our industry-leading technology to Willis Tower, one of the world’s most iconic buildings,” said Otis Americas President Tom Vining. “Our innovative SkyRise and CompassPlus products will transform the passenger experience for the millions of people who pass through the building every year.”

The Willis Tower elevator system makes more than 46,000 daily trips and serves an estimated 5.8 million people each year. The modernization project will provide more efficient elevator service for tenants and visitors, reducing travel time during peak hours by up to 30 percent and cutting energy costs by an estimated 35 percent. The elevators will also better utilize new amenity services located on the building’s transfer floors.

 “The Willis Tower is pleased to collaborate with Otis on the modernization of our elevator system,” said David Moore, Senior Vice President, Portfolio Director, Equity Office. “More than 15,000 tenants and guests use our elevators each day and they deserve the absolute best in transportation within the building, from updated technology to sleek design, and Otis offers best-in-class installation, service and aesthetics.”

A dedicated Otis team will be on site starting in June to ensure the modernization is completed on time and with minimal impact to the building’s tenants and operations.

The Willis Tower elevator modernization project is part of a $500 million transformation by owner/manager Equity Office, a portfolio company owned by Blackstone’s real estate funds. Through the investment, Willis Tower will be reinforced as a civic destination and the city’s leading workplace, featuring unprecedented amenities and unique retail and entertainment experiences. This renovation is just one of many significant updates being made to vertical transportation within the Willis Tower. Escalators at key points throughout the building will be removed to streamline travel and upgraded security and turnstiles will improve traffic flow at the building’s entrances.  

To learn more about the Willis Tower, including information for visitors, leasing and history, visit www.willistower.com.


About Otis

Otis is the world’s leading manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways. Founded 165 years ago by the inventor of the safety elevator, Otis offers products and services through its companies in approximately 200 countries and territories. Otis is a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. By combining a passion for science with precision engineering, the company is creating smart, sustainable solutions the world needs. For more information, visit www.otis.com or follow Otis on LinkedIn, YouTube and as @OtisElevatorCo on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Equity Office

The Equity Office portfolio, encompassing approximately 47 million square feet of Class A office space throughout the U.S., is rich with signature properties in the nation’s leading gateway markets. The company focuses heavily on meeting the current trends and changing strategic needs of companies and our chosen markets. With an average tenure of over 25 years in the real estate industry, our regional leaders also head teams with deep experience across the board from investment and asset management, to property management, development and construction. As an affiliate of Blackstone, a pre-eminent global asset manager providing significant financial strength and long-term stability, we are extremely well capitalized. Please visit www.equityoffice.com for more information.

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. For more information, visit www.WillisTower.com.