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United Airlines Downsizing Willis Tower Footprint

United Airlines is giving up about 150,000 square feet of its 850,000-square-foot Willis Tower headquarters space, according to the Chicago Tribune. The downsizing, effective next January, makes United the latest downtown Chicago office tenant to shrink its footprint in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline is one of downtown Chicago’s largest office tenants, and the company less than two years ago extended its lease in EQ Ofice’s 110-story tower until 2033. The lease duration isn’t affected by the space reduction, the Tribune reported.

“Due to the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our industry, United continues to find new ways to become more efficient as we continue to navigate through this crisis,” a United spokeswoman said in a statement.

Totaling three full floors, United’s Willis Tower downsizing comes after months of cost-cutting measures during a year where the airline lost $7.1 billion.


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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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