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National Restaurant Association takes floor at Chicago's Willis Tower


Willis Tower owner Equity Office, the U.S. office platform wholly-owned by Blackstone's real estate funds, said that the Chicago operations of the National Restaurant Association, the largest foodservice trade association in the world, has signed a long-term, full-floor office lease totaling 50,852 square feet of space at the Tower.


The deal marks the first major lease signed at Willis Tower since its $500 million transformation plan was announced.


Jamey Dix, Maggie Brophy and Joy Jordan of Telos represented Equity Office in the transaction. The CBRE Non-Profit Practice Group represented the National Restaurant Association.


"We are pleased to welcome the National Restaurant Association to Willis Tower," said David Moore, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Director - Chicago, Equity Office. "The National Restaurant Association chose Willis Tower in order to attract the workforce of tomorrow and support the mission of their work.  Willis Tower provides a unique, engaging office environment with unbeatable views, a flood of natural light, and large, flexible office floor plates that can adapt and meet the constantly changing nature of today's work.  The new amenity base at Willis Tower, with its shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, will provide employees an invigorating space unlike any other in Chicago to collaborate, entertain, celebrate, or relax.  As an organization with deep roots in Chicago, Equity Office is honored to provide the National Restaurant Association with their next home as we continue to transform Willis Tower into the preeminent office environment."


The National Restaurant Association will occupy the thirty-sixth floor and will be in close proximity to some of the new office amenities, including Tower House, a two-story tenant lounge and café, and Tone, a 30,000-square-foot, full-service fitness experience.


"The National Restaurant Association's mission is to promote and advance the restaurant industry and to improve the quality of life for all we serve. We are thrilled that our Chicago team will now be located in a world-class destination, positioned to be of even greater impact to our members and our industry," said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO, National Restaurant Association. "The Willis Tower offers us a fresh environment for hosting industry events, accessing services that help our employees gain greater satisfaction out of their workdays, and supporting a wide variety restaurants and entertainment planned just floors below us."


"This was a perfect match. The National Restaurant Association was heavily focused on providing amenities for its employees and creating an inspiring new work environment with light and views. The new Willis Tower provides an unprecedented and diverse array of amenity neighborhoods, and the thirty-sixth floor features the large floor plate, open air and views the National Restaurant Association was seeking," said Jamey Dix, ‎Vice President at Telos Group.


"There were many good alternatives in the market for the National Restaurant Association, but the new redevelopment plans and spectacular tenant amenities at Willis Tower separated it from the others. As an association focused on the restaurant industry, the hospitality component of the new amenities at the Tower promotes an environment complementary to the National Restaurant Association and exciting to its staff and members," said Gregg Witt, Senior Vice President at CBRE.

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