Our Beliefs: Passion for Creating

Our beliefs are the principles that unite us, that inspire us each and every day to work toward a shared vision. One of those beliefs passion for creating directly addresses the drive that propels us forward each day. We do what we do because we love great design, and believe in the power of great design to inspire awe and wonder. 

What does passion for creating look like? At Optima, we all create. Our culture is marked by openness and inclusiveness; we value collaboration and partnerships. More than just all creating, we create together.

One of our construction team members put it best when stating: “We all pitch in and help one another. If one of us has a problem, we all have a problem and will work together to find an answer.” Collaboration is inherent in creation, and it’s what pushes the boundaries of what we do and how we discover new ways of innovating. 

Recognizing that we achieve more together drives our desire to be part of a common purpose, to share knowledge and to achieve collectively. Everyone has a voice; ideas can come from anywhere and can be shared across teams in real time. We are able to look at every angle, own every detail and relish contribution from everyone. 

Our Beliefs: Lasting Impact

As part of our culture at Optima, our team is aligned around a set of beliefs that provides unity, clarity and meaning to the work we do everyday. One belief — committed to lasting impact — addresses our dedication to design solutions that raise the bar, withstanding the aesthetic test of time to leave a positive, lasting impact on people and the built environment that surrounds them.

From our earliest days, we have approached our work with this mindset. Our first project was in 1978 — a condominium complex at South Kenwood Avenue and East 54th Street in Hyde Park. We acquired the in-fill property at auction, and built six townhouses using Chicago common brick (they are still standing and occupied today). This project established a throughline that stays with us to this day, as we continue to pursue each project with the same intention, inspired by the people who live in and around them. 

Interior of South Kenwood and East 54th Street
Interior of South Kenwood and East 54th Street

As a natural outgrowth of our focus on people and the places they inhabit, we pay particular attention to how interior space is designed and experienced. Whether it’s our multi-family residences or single family homes, each is outfitted with a multitude of amenities, outdoor spaces and thoughtful design. We also deliberately curate the commercial spaces within our multi-family properties to benefit our residents, tailoring the selection of retailers to include restaurants & juice bars, schools, veterinary services or health & wellness spaces that align with the mix of residents and their needs. 

Our passion for buildings that last also translates into how our projects impact our earth. From LEED and IgCC certifications to conscious materials, we design with eco friendly functionality in mind. In building Relic Rock, we utilized design and materials to reduce the need for electricity and heat, lowering the building’s environmental burden. As we continue to grow in our practices, we will continue to implement more conscious design to ensure that our buildings work harmoniously with the surrounding nature.

Courtyard Fountain “Cooling Tower” at Relic Rock.
Courtyard Fountain “Cooling Tower” at Relic Rock.

Through each project and with each detail large or small, we strive to improve our communities and the lives of our residents for years to come. Stay tuned for more features on our beliefs as we dive deeper on what makes Optima function and thrive.

Our Beliefs: Growth Mindset

As part of our culture at Optima, we hold a set of beliefs that helps us align our work with our goals. Internally, these beliefs are reflected in our culture, and externally, they shine through in the way we conduct ourselves with partners, customers, investors, colleagues and members of the community where we build. They embed meaning into our every project, and into our every day.

The first of our beliefs: we operate with a growth mindset.

Since the company’s inception, we have defined growth on our own terms. This confidence to establish our own definition of success has set us on a continuing and collaborative journey, encouraging each member of our team to constantly expand the base of our knowledge in service to our purpose.

Optima was founded by David Hovey Sr. and Eileen Hovey with a mission at its helm. We wanted to create a real estate firm where design leads the process, enabled by our vertically integrated business model. As the owner, architect, general contractor and developer, the degree of freedom that came with allowed us to challenge ourselves, to learn as we went and to improve each time we started something new.

From humble beginnings, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to growth by investing in our team members’ success. This takes the shape of a robust onboarding process for new team members, ensuring a seamless entry into Optima, and by providing continuing, thoughtful mentorship throughout their careers, by redefining our managers as “coaches” that help guide their team to be their most successful selves. We take pride in investing our time and energy into creating unique approaches that ensure our team, and each individual team member, thrives in the future.

And naturally, having a team set up for success allows our projects to be fueled by minds at their best. Therefore, we can tackle the work that we do with an unwavering vigor that allows us to continually learn, adapt and grow. That will always be how Optima operates.

person name goes here

Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL

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