Our Beliefs: Freedom to Innovate

At Optima, all aspects of our work are deeply saturated by the passion and values instilled in Our Beliefs. Our team unifies around these beliefs, enabling us to create more collaboratively, to communicate more effectively and to be collectively inspired by a shared vision. One belief — freedom to innovate — speaks to the degrees of freedom that we enjoy, allowing us to continually instill our work with inventive thinking and approaches.

As a vertically-integrated business, we serve as the owner, the architect, the general contractor, the developer, and property manager, allowing us to keep our hands on all parts of the process. With a full-throttle, approach to every aspect of building, from inception to execution, inherently we hold unique degrees of freedom and adaptability.

7160 Optima Kierland
7160 Optima Kierland

Take when we were building 7160 Optima Kierland, the first tower of Optima Kierland Apartments, for example: we were able to shift on a dime and seize opportunity when it was presented. At the time of construction, we identified a rapid increase in market demand for three-bedroom units and quickly adapted mid-build, creating three-bedroom units, even after concrete had been poured.

As project architect, we modified plans and ensured no adverse cost impact resulted, coordinating with our design team maintaining bathrooms and shafts in their original location. As general contractor for the project, we engaged quick responses from partners without affecting project delivery. 

Each and every day we make our decisions based on what we believe is right, without compromising our vision. The freedom to innovate is at the core of this decision making process — driving our work each and every day to be better, more efficient and more inventive.

Inside Our Team: Construction

To fuel our vertically-integrated business model, Optima is composed of strong, multi-faceted teams that ensure an effective and efficient workflow throughout our projects. Ever since our inception, we have recognized the benefits of harnessing collaborative teams, and we’re not alone. According to Forbes, productive team environments are the new vision for successful and satisfying employment. Adaptability, trustworthiness and openness are key components in coordinating team actions and solving challenging problems. 

Now more than ever, teamwork is recognized as a critical part of successful work culture. Our construction team at Optima is no exception; the team is currently working on two buildings in Arizona, just wrapped up another project ahead of schedule and is growing in Illinois as we prepare for upcoming projects in the Chicago market.  

Construction at Whale Bay House, New Zealand
Construction at Whale Bay House, New Zealand

When asked about what makes their team amazing, here are some of the things our construction team members had to say:

“We understand what the needs of the job are and strive towards a common goal to get things done. If someone makes a mistake, they own the mistake and fix it themselves so they learn and grow from the experience.”

“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.”

“I love the team we have gathered; they are knowledgeable and willing to learn.”

“I absolutely have learned leaps and bounds! I found my passion. Similar to a child in a sugar shop, my brain is soaking up everything like a sponge! I smile just talking about decking, and vetting subs for new partnerships!”

With our holistic business model that encompasses architecture, development, general contracting, sales/brokerage, asset/property management, and shared services, each of our talented teams are part of what makes Optima great. Think you would be a good fit on the Optima team? Check out our current open positions to inquire about joining our team. 


Vertical Integration: The Optima Business Model

Reflecting back to 1978, one of the first pillars of the Optima promise was a dedication to a multidisciplinary approach. David Hovey Sr, then new to the architecture world, wanted to escape from the corporate red tape that surrounded a traditional architect-developer relationship. Oftentimes, he observed that bankers and corporations were given more power over specific projects and the integrity of the building was overlooked. His vision was that architecture would lead the process, and the first iteration of the Optima Business Model was born. 

Optima Biltmore Towers viewed from the courtyard, with each tower looming in the sky above

Our process is a vertical one; we oversee architecture, development, general contracting, sales brokerage, property management and support. Because we’ve built an integrated process and are involved with every step, we welcome potential challenges and take pride in seeing our projects through from start to finish. Our model gives us a distinct advantage over others in the industry, and allows us to have a flexible and fluid project timeline. 

From project inception to construction, we’re constantly working on ways to improve and adapt. During the construction of Optima Signature, our architectural team implemented strategies to improve efficiency, including condensing the coordination of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems, and producing documents on-site, reducing the process from days to hours. Originally scheduled for completion in February 2018, our vertical integration methods allowed the building to be completed in June 2017.

Even once a building is finished, we continue to be involved with and invested in our projects. We manage most of our multi-family properties, ensuring everything from amenities to retail spaces enrich the lives of their respective communities. Our intention is always to create a positive, lasting impact on our tenants, communities and environments, and our vertical integration model allows us to pursue that desire more fully. 


person name goes here

Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL

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