Chicago’s most iconic tower is getting a facelift, according to numerous reports coming in from all over. City officials revealed a series of proposed improvements to the famed Willis Tower earlier this week, which are estimated to cost around $500 million.
In a nutshell, it appears the plan is to make the Willis Tower much more accessible and inviting to visitors, even despite the building already attracting 1 million people annually.
Blackstone Group L.P., who previously purchased the building almost two years ago, will be heading the makeover, which will include adding 300,000 square feet of new retail space, restaurant, and entertainment space, as well as a new 30,000 square foot outdoor deck.
According to the release, the new retail space, which will occupy three floors above ground and three floors below grade, will be centered around a new winter garden with a skylight, while it’s rooftop will also feature a fabulous skating rink during the winter.
The project is already slated to begin later this month and is expected to be wrapped up before the summer of 2019. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has also said the Willis Tower makeover will create over 2,500 new jobs as well.