Abbott signs on at Willis Tower after renovation

Medical firm seeks to bring more employees to the office

Abbott's Robert Ford and Willis Tower (Abbott, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
Abbott's Robert Ford and Willis Tower (Abbott, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

Blackstone’s Willis Tower landed another tenant.
Abbott Laboratories said it’s leasing more than 100,000 square feet in the tower, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The medical devices maker, seeking to bring more workers back to the office, will keep its headquarters in Lake Bluff, a Chicago suburb just south of Waukegan.

“Abbott does its best work when our employees can collaborate in person,” said spokesman Scott Stoffel. “At the same time, we want to continue to make it easier for more colleagues to balance their lives effectively.”

Willis Tower underwent a $500 million, yearslong upgrade that brought 150,000 square feet of tenant-exclusive amenities such as cafes and bars, a fitness center, lounge areas and conference spaces, and installed a new structure at the base of the building with 300,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space.

Last week, market maker IMC leased an additional 50,000 square feet in the 110-story skyscraper, expanding its previous lease by 50 percent to 160,000 square feet. The lease expansion was good news for the tower after United Airlines announced plans to move its primary flight control center to Arlington last December. About 900 employees will move from the downtown tower to the suburban office.

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Abbott’s space, able to accommodate about 450 employees, should be ready in the second half of 2023. A person familiar with the deal told the Sun-Times that the lease includes offices on the 25th and 26th floors.

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[CST] — Victoria Pruitt