EQ Office, the U.S. office portfolio company wholly owned by Blackstone’s real estate funds, unveiled plans for Chicago’s newest neighborhood, Catalog, a five-story dining, retail and immersive-entertainment experience, located at the base of Willis Tower.

The name is a historical nod to the Sears Roebuck Company, who developed and opened Willis Tower in 1973. The Sears catalog was the retailing disrupter of its age and like the online versions that followed, Catalog offers an effective way to experience great content, products and experiences. Designed by Gensler, Catalog creates a warm, energetic vibe and an entirely new work life for the more than 15,000 people who work at Willis Tower, as well as countless Chicago residents and visitors, with carefully selected restaurants, first to market retailers, entertainment options and fitness boutiques.

“Catalog represents everything we love about Chicago, from the energy of the neighborhoods to the diversity of the city’s design and architecture,” says David Moore, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Director, EQ Office. “The space recognizes the pace of change occurring in everyone’s lives and our need to drive lifestyle and experience into the workday. With the addition of Catalog, we are furthering our mission to create a new Willis Tower as an urban destination that is the heart of downtown, capturing the vibrancy of the city, and delivering the best experiences of life and work to residents and visitors of

Anchoring Catalog’s food and beverage offerings will be Urbanspace, the leading food hall operator with existing locations in New York City and roots in London. Urbanspace will occupy more than 14,000 square feet in Catalog, making the company one of the largest retailers in the building. Catalog is anticipated to open to the public in mid-2020. The latest project renderings can be found here.

“Urbanspace creates immersive public markets where creativity and community flourish,” adds Eldon Scott, President of Urbanspace. “The redevelopment of Willis Tower will provide artisans, entrepreneurs and chefs with the perfect setting to accomplish all of this and more.”

The Catalog announcement is part of Willis Tower’s more than half a billion dollar renovation plan, the biggest restorative transformation project in the building’s 43-year history. Catalog is part of the more than 300,000 square feet of new retail, dining and entertainment space that will be available at the base of Willis Tower, including new dining options like Shake Shack, Sweetgreen, Luke’s Lobster and Taylor Gourmet, along with 150,000 square feet of new space for tenant use within the Tower and a 30,000 square-feet deck and garden.

The Willis Tower repositioning is just one example of how EQ is partnering with business leaders to co-create individual spaces for greatness, not just places to work, with the ultimate goal of helping companies attract, retain and inspire talent.

Industry News, NextGen Casual