The Sears Tower, the tallest building in the U.S., has a new name as of today. It will now be called the Willis Tower, after the U.K. insurance company that got the naming rights along with a big committment to office space in the building.
As described in this Chicago Tribune editorial, the ceo of Willis knows people will still call it the Sears Tower. “They can call it whatever they want, even ‘The Big Willie,’ ” the exec, Joseph Plumeri, said. “All I know is that the day we announced that this building would be named Willis Tower, everybody in America knew who Willis was.”
Sometimes he’s hard to keep track of these name changes. I grew up next to the Brendan Byrne Arena, named after New Jersey governor who got the project started. Most people just called it the Meadowlands, which was what the swamp was previously called. Then it became the Conintental Airlines Arena, now it’s the Izod Arena.
I guess the message here is that real estate sticks with us, a lot longer than most companies.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.