2021: A Year in Review

As we kick off 2022, we want to take a moment to reflect on how we’ve continued to grow, learn and serve others over the past 12 months. Here are just a few highlights:


We were honored to receive a total of 9 awards this year! Our design and architecture were recognized with the AIA Chicago Firm of the Year Award, AIA Chicago Design Excellence Awards – Distinguished Building Award (Arizona Courtyard House), and Chicago Athenaeum’s American Architecture Award twice (Optima Kierland and Optima Sonoran Village). 

Art Baril, our Maintenance Manager at Optima Sonoran Village was awarded the Gold Facilities and Maintenance Manager of the Year by Multi-Housing News at their 2021 MNH Excellence Awards. 

Our culture and values were also acknowledged in 2021 with the AZCentral Top Companies 2021 Award and Best Places to Work in Chicago for the second year in a row. 

To see the full 2021 lineup, visit our awards page here

Projects and Properties

This was a significant year for development, construction, leasing and more at Optima. In Chicago, we continued construction at Optima Lakeview, which is nearly complete. The project is the first multifamily development to achieve the WiredScore Home Gold Certification in North America. We also returned to our roots on the North Shore where we broke ground on our newest development, Optima Verdana, and plan to introduce our signature vertical landscaping system to the Midwest.

In Arizona, our leasing team worked tirelessly to lease up our new 7140 tower at Optima Kierland Apartments, and our second condo building, 7180 Optima Kierland, closed out. We also broke ground on the fifth and final residential tower at Optima Kierland, 7190 Optima Kierland which will open in 2023.


Throughout 2021 our culture at Optima continued to thrive through richly rewarding avenues of kinship and connection. We celebrated the autumn season with our second annual pumpkin carving and costume contest, observed Diwali, the festival of lights, and shared laughs and stories while celebrating our successful year at company outings at Topgolf and a Chicago Cubs Game. We also enjoyed the return of in-person happy hours during the year.

Our team continued to embrace and internalize our shared values more than ever. We gave back to the communities we live in by volunteering at the Skokie Lagoons on the Chicago North Shore, picking up trash at the boat launch. We also took the opportunity to acknowledge eight Optima employees with our Core Values Award for their exceptional representation of our beliefs throughout their work. 

We can’t thank our leadership, team members and Optima communities enough for making 2021 one to remember. Heading into 2022, we are excited to continue innovating and achieving great things together.

2020: A Year in Review

As 2020 comes to a close, we’re taking this moment to reflect and look back on all that’s happened through this unexpected, unprecedented year. From our team, to our projects to Optima as a whole, we’ve learned, grown and thrived. Here are just a few of the highlights:

7180 Optima Kierland, winner of the Outstanding Property Award London for Winner in Architectural Design, surpassed its 85% sold milestone.
7180 Optima Kierland, winner of the Outstanding Property Award London for Winner in Architectural Design, surpassed its 85% sold milestone.

Projects and Properties

This was a big year of growth for us with many exciting projects. In Arizona, we launched the lease-up of the new 7140 tower at Optima Kierland Apartments, the second apartment tower within the Optima Kierland development. Also within Optima Kierland, 7180 Optima Kierland surpassed its 85% sold milestone.

And in Chicago, our portfolio expanded with the groundbreaking of Optima Lakeview and the approval of Optima Wilmette, two projects we look forward to making future strides with in the coming year. 


We were honored to win thirteen awards this year. Our architecture and design were acknowledged with the AIA Chicago Design Excellence Awards for Distinguished Building (Whale Bay House) and the Outstanding Property Award London for Winner in Architectural Design four times over (Whale Bay House, Arizona Courtyard House, 7180 Optima Kierland and Optima Sonoran Village).

Our property management team was recognized with the Best Community & Management Team Tribute Award by the Arizona Multihousing Association.

Meanwhile, our corporate culture was acknowledged with the award for Crain’s Chicago Business Best Places to Work 2020, and AZCentral Top Companies 2020.

To see the full 2020 lineup, visit our awards page.  


Throughout the year, we rallied to keep our culture thriving and to ensure our team stayed more connected than ever. We launched our Be Well | Work Well initiative, made up of the Be Well | Work Well Newsletter and new Wellness page within our company intranet , focused on keeping our team well: mentally, emotionally, socially and physically.

Two kids pose with their jack-o-lanterns

We created a new normal and found ways to have fun together, even while apart, through virtual trivia, virtual happy hours supplying cocktail kits and our dueling pianos virtual holiday party. We brought families into the fun, too, with our innovative “Optima Community Garden,” sending seed packages for team members to plant in their home gardens, and with our pumpkin carving contests, sending supplies and holding voting to determine a winner. 

We can’t thank our leadership, team members and communities enough for rising to the occasion and making this year special. Going into 2021, we’re excited to continue innovating, growing and achieving together.

person name goes here

Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL

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