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Report: Sears Tower Sale Close

November 21, 1997 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) _ Sears Tower, the world’s third tallest building, soon could be owned by a real estate firm across the border.

Toronto-based TrizecHahn Corp. is close to inking a deal to buy the 1,454-foot, 110-story building, the Chicago Tribune reported in today’s editions, citing real estate sources.

The price tag for the purchase was not disclosed, and the newspaper said the tentative deal is contingent on an inspection of the building and its financial condition.

The Sears Tower is eclipsed in size only by twin-tower spires completed last year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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The building’s current owner is the investment partnership of Boston-based AEW Capital Management. Company spokesman Martha Thurber said today the building had not been sold and declined to discuss whether the firm was in negotiations for a sale.

A spokeswoman for TrizecHahn did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The black steel-and-glass monolith on the western edge of the city’s downtown Loop was designed by American architect Fazlur Khan and completed in 1973.

Originally built as the showcase headquarters for Sears, Roebuck & Co., the tower had been a symbol of declining real estate values and business flight from Chicago’s downtown area following the retailer’s move to suburban Hoffman Estates in 1992.

Sears sold its equity interest in the building to AEW in 1994, at a time when the property was more than a third vacant.

Today, the tower is almost full and stands as a symbol of the revitalized real estate market across most of the country.

TrizecHahn has placed a heavy interest on buying trophy properties. Its holdings include the CN Tower, in Toronto, the Grace Building in New York City, Citicorp Center in Los Angeles and Renaissance Tower in Dallas.

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