Senior community developer moving HQ to Willis Tower

The firm will move to the supertall at 233 South Wacker Drive from its current offices down the street at 71 South Wacker
By Joe Ward | July 16, 2019 04:00PM

Vi President Randy Richardson and the Willis Tower.

Vi President Randy Richardson and the Willis Tower.

A company that develops and manages retirement communities is taking one of the last remaining available spaces in the Willis Tower.

Chicago-based Vi will move its headquarters a few blocks south on Wacker Drive, taking 30,400 square feet in the Willis Tower, according to Savills, which brokered the new lease. Vi will move from its current location at Irvine Company’s 71 South Wacker Drive to the skyscraper at 233 South Wacker Drive early next year.

The new lease comes as Blackstone Group continues work on its $668 million redevelopment of the historic Chicago skyscraper. New amenities in the building will include a 30,000-square-foot fitness center, a cafe and lounge on the 33rd floor and a food hall. The building’s renovated lobby was unveiled to the public this week.

Vi Chief Financial Officer Gary Smith said in a statement the Willis Tower improvements will help the firm recruit and retain employees.

“The building, as well as the highly desired Loop location, is exactly what we were looking for in our new space,” he said.

The new lease continues a hot streak for Blackstone, which bought the Willis Tower for $1.3 billion in 2015, the most expensive office transaction outside of New York City.

Earlier this year, United Airlines announced it would remain at the Willis Tower until at least 2023. Taking more than 850,000-square-feet in the tower, United is the largest single-space, private office tenant in the city.

In December, electronics manufacturer Molex inked a 20,000-square-foot lease in the Willis Tower, bringing its occupancy to 94 percent. A spokesperson for Blackstone’s office management company declined Tuesday to provide an updated occupancy figure.

Representing Vi in the new lease deal were Savills’ Lisa Davidson and Joe Learner. Savills’ Rich Dale and Loredana Perri will advise the firm on its office build-out. Willis Tower management was represented by the Telos Group’s Nikki Kern, Jamey Dix and JD Parcheta.