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Curated Furniture at Optima Lakeview: The Noomi Chair

As with all of the exquisitely curated furniture selections at Optima, the focus is always on comfort and functionality, timeless minimalist design, flawless engineering and superb materials The NOOMI chair, the brainchild of renowned Danish designer, Susanne Grønlund, is no exception, and fits handsomely into the interior spaces of our latest development, Optima Lakeview

Since 1991, Grønlund and her studio in Aarhaus, Denmark have earned a reputation for innovative, thoughtful design that’s rooted in Scandinavian traditions. In creating her Noomi Swivel chair in 2013, she set out to combine aesthetics with practicality. Recognizing that people want to sit comfortably AND easily turn to speak to others in an intimate setting, Grønlund designed a soothing, smooth-swiveling chair on a 360-degree base.

With references to branches on a tree, the delicate and slightly bent legs seize the upper part of the NOOMI Chair and create a strong graphic expression where steel and fabric meet in harmony. The frame is light, but distinctive with an elegant humanly-contoured shape that makes the soft, rounded upper part of the chair — with its strong backrest and traditional manual padding — look like it’s hovering above the floor. 

The Noomi Chair in a two-bedroom residence at Optima Lakeview

With the focus on form and function, Grønlund took great pains to ensure maximum comfort with the NOOMI Chair. The angle of the backrest to the seat has been carefully resolved, and the wide armrests are comfortable. The chair invites various sitting positions as it signals the priorities of comfort and rest. 

With such flawless design, it isn’t a surprise that the NOOMI chair has garnered a number of awards, including the Good Design® Award (2017) and German Design Award (2018).

We’re not only happy to have NOOMIs welcoming residents in Optima Lakeview but in many of our other communities at Optima, where the ideals of form and function continue to inspire all of us.

David Hovey Sr., FAIA, A Modernist Philosophy Emerges

As we continue to explore the new David Hovey Sr., FAIA catalogue raisonné, it’s a pleasure to linger over the expansive, thoughtful essay penned by distinguished architecture writer and long-time associate, Cheryl Kent. This examination of Hovey’s career entitled, “The Achievement,” provides new perspectives on his career that give us greater appreciation for what he has cared deeply about, and the impact he has made.

In speaking about Hovey’s core beliefs, Kent explains:

“David Sr. continues as CEO and a principal architect. Now in his mid-seventies, he is beginning to pull back and leave more responsibility to his heirs. Still, he continues to work every day, ‘helping’ as he says ‘wherever I’m needed.’ In 2004, Optima opened an Arizona office but it has been building in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area since 2000. Today, Optima projects routinely gross over one million square feet and sometimes more than two. Over the course of the company’s existence, it has built nearly six thousand residential units with another 950 now in the works. And the pace has picked up. In its early years, the firm did approximately one project a year; now it is likely to have projects in construction in both markets at the same time, and sometimes more than one in each.

840 Michigan was a 24-unit complex in suburban Evanston built in 1985.

“It is significant that Hovey accomplished this over decades when his design philosophy, modernism — and he does embrace it as a philosophy — was out of step with the architectural mainstream. When many architects had embraced postmodernism beginning in the 1970s arguing for conventional historical references non-cognoscenti could understand and still other architects turned to deconstructivism that no one could understand, Hovey was steadfast in his belief in the tenets of modernism, in the future, in technology, in material honesty, in structural expression, and in architecture’s ability to improve life for people. Architecture, Hovey insists, must be expressive of its time and employ the latest technology. He has made a highly successful career of well-designed housing in a modernist idiom.”

When Hovey tackled North Pointe on the site of an old warehouse in Evanston in 1990, he used a dynamic plan to include 118 townhouses with penthouses and two mid-rise condominiums.

The projects in the early years of Hovey’s career allowed him to hone his practice by continuing to take on greater challenges in location, scope, size and materials — all the while staying true to his core beliefs and principles.

Angie Chache Team Member Spotlight

Our passionate team at Optima is the heart and soul behind each of our communities and embodies all of our values daily. We recently sat down with Angie Chache, Optima Lakeview’s Property Manager, to learn more about her journey to Optima Lakeview and what excites her the most about this extraordinary new property. 

Tell us a bit about your background and the role you play at Optima.

I have been in residential property management for almost 20 years, managing different types of communities in a Property Manager and Regional Manager role. With Optima Lakeview, I am the Property Manager, so I oversee the site itself. I’m responsible for the entire building and its system of operations, and because I’m jumping in just as the building is being completed, it will be my first lease up. I am excited about it!

What drew you to Optima initially, and what’s kept you working there?

Initially, a conversation with Ali Burnham, the Marketing Director, introduced me to the vibrant project they were building here. My first experience with an Optima community was actually Optima Old Orchard Woods; I was drawn to its classical modernist architectural style. So when the opportunity to join the team at Optima Lakeview came up, I was very excited. At Optima, there is this wonderful collaboration between all departments. With most companies, the architect/designer and developer/builder are separate entities. So at Optima, where we do everything essentially under one roof, I observe that things go much more smoothly on the operations side of things.

How do you view the concept of community at Optima? How does it differ from other properties/buildings?

Community at Optima means providing exceptional and curated experiences for our residents. The buildings are designed with extensive amenity spaces so they can seamlessly function as an extension of our residents’ homes. Our tagline at Optima Lakeview is Expect the Extraordinary, which I believe speaks for both the building’s outstanding architecture and the rich community we are creating within it. 

One of our philosophies that encompasses our value around relationships and community is called the Optima Way. The Optima Way sets the stage for Optima experiences that are very unique and customized for every one of our residents. We strive to get to know every resident, what they like, what they don’t like, and how we can make all of their experiences unique. It’s about being encouraged by our company culture to create extraordinary encounters for the residents. When you live in an Optima community, it’s more than just living in any generic apartment; it’s about what residents can enjoy when they’re here and what we can do as a team to curate living experiences just for them. 

There are a lot of luxury properties in the market, but what differentiates us is our suite of services. The resident events we frequently host are incredibly special, including fitness classes and kid-focused events (we’re one of the only communities doing this). And our grand amenity spaces are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Residents at Optima Lakeview are going to feel like these spaces are an extension of their home. Some areas feel private, and others are great spots to gather with friends…because when you have that much space to spread out, it’s going to feel like home.

Optima has a unique set of values that differentiates it from other company cultures. How does that affect the quality of your work life? What values matter most to you?

My bucket gets filled every day. Yes, there are challenges and days that are hard, but there is also support and fluidity between the departments. We all work for the same company which, on the Property Management side of the business, makes my job so much easier. The two values that speak to me the most are that we build strong lasting relationships and that people are — and always will be — the most important pieces of the puzzle. 

In my career, relationships — whether it be with employees, vendors, or residents — have been at the forefront of my values, and I always want everyone to feel welcomed and appreciated. Optima allows me to curate experiences for people and provide amazing customer service, and it isn’t typical of companies to have the customer at the forefront. Many companies say they value that, but Optima acts on it.

What makes you most proud to be a part of the Optima team?

The beautiful ,innovative designs of our buildings, how we impact our residents’ lives, and the intentional way we work to be a part of the communities we build in. I never really understood the thought put into Optima’s communities before I started working here. We strive to build long-lasting relationships and partner with businesses surrounding our community so our residents and the surrounding businesses can benefit from those partnerships we form.

I’m also proud of the way we give back to the communities where we have built. Recently, we partnered with Lakeview Pantry and worked there for a day, which allowed us to see the lives that are impacted daily by this organization right here in the Lakeview neighborhood. We are excited to partner with them long-term and see how our community can help support such an important cause.

With move-ins scheduled for the spring, what elements of Optima Lakeview should new residents be most excited about?

Everything! We have 198 units with 52-floor plans, which means sometimes there may only be one unit of a particular floor plan, so our uniqueness provides a sense of exclusivity. I can’t wait for residents to see our 7-story atrium that will be filled with an abundance of natural light and the vibrant vertical landscaping that will live inside of it — similar to the vertical landscaping we do on the exteriors of our Arizona communities. We will have 40,000 square feet of amenity space for only 198 residences. Our skydeck with 360-degree views of the city will also have a heated pool and jacuzzi that can be used year-round — even when it’s snowing. And, we’ll have private terraces that range from 300 square feet up to 2,000 square feet, some with private grills and firepits. Our community is like no other in this neighborhood.

New Book Release: Reflections on the Career of David Hovey Sr., FAIA

Hot off the press is the spectacular retrospective of the 40+ year career of David Hovey Sr., FAIA, Optima’s CEO and Founder. David Hovey Sr., released by Images Publishing, is a collector’s item that arrived on bookshelves in January 2022. The monograph opens with a beautiful introductory essay by the late luminary architect Helmut Jahn, who wrote about their decades-long friendship and Hovey’s “staggering” influence on architecture. Entitled “Living Beautifully,” Jahn explains:

“The best thing that can be said about the work of David Hovey Sr. in his chosen field of multi-family and single-family housing is that he builds unique and inventive dwellings for people to live beautifully. That he chooses to play not just the role of the architect but also that of developer, contractor, construction manager, sales and leasing agent, and building operator makes the achievement even more remarkable. As his own client and CEO of his company, Optima, Hovey demonstrates that it’s possible to successfully execute the very different skills of an architect and a developer by applying tremendous knowledge and tenacity and assuming great responsibility. Many who have tried to work as an architect-developer have failed because they did not find the right balance. David Hovey expanded the role of the architect to the level of a master building and in this, he is without equal in his generation.”

A sketch of Optima’s Sterling Ridge

In the words of friend and chronicler, Jahn talks about the arc of Hovey’s career:

“Hovey’s built work is a testament to constant refinement and improvement, each project a step along a path to take on new and bigger challenges, never being afraid of making a mistake by doing something new. The achievements of an architect become more evident with the passing of time. The good buildings become more important, the others will be forgotten.”

In Jahn’s reflections on Hovey’s deep understand of the complex issue of climate change, he shares his thoughts this way:

“David Hovey’s work should be recognized for more than its architectural design. This is particularly evident in his desert buildings where he addresses the important issue of climate change that challenges architecture today. Authorities measure energy consumption as the primary factor in building construction. Looking at energy efficiency alone is the wrong measure. We don’t have an energy problem, we have an emissions problem. Carbon dioxide is the principal culprit in climate change and the building industry contributes a considerable amount of it to the atmosphere.

Optima’s Biltmore Towers

“In Hovey’s buildings, there are strategies that address climate issues. This is demonstrated in the use of many prefabricated lightweight materials for load-bearing or non-load-bearing, enclosing parts. This extends to the use of recycled steel. Hovey regularly employs effective sun-shading devices. His strategies include LED lighting as well as energy-saving heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems. Sustainability is assured by design and not through additional equipment or devices, which don’t pay off over time. Here, the mind of the architect and developer in one person can best design and build buildings where nothing can be taken away to come closer to perfection. Only through knowledge, determination, and a deep sense of responsibility can these energy goals be achieved, as the buildings show.”

Stay tuned for other inspiring excerpts from David Hovey Sr., along with stunning images of completed structures and his extraordinary sketches. For those who wish to purchase the book, it is available through a number of booksellers online.

Team Member Spotlight: Amanda Johnson

At Optima, our communities would not thrive without the outstanding work from our spirited team of individuals. We recently sat down with Amanda Johnson, Marketing Associate at Optima, to discuss why she loves being part of such a passionate team and what she has learned throughout her experience here.

Tell us a bit about your background and the role you play at Optima.

Before joining Optima, I held various Marketing and Graphic Design positions for a handful of industries including Interior Design, Travel & Tourism, Hospitality, and Commercial Real Estate. Today, I’m the Marketing Associate at Optima and work alongside the Marketing Director, Ali Burnham, to manage and implement all aspects of the company’s marketing and brand management strategy on both a corporate and property level.

What drew you to Optima?

Tarryn, Optima’s wonderful People Experience Recruiter, reached out to me on LinkedIn and spoke with such positivity and excitement about the role and company, so I naturally had to learn more. Immediately after meeting with Ali, I became even more excited about the opportunity and the wide variety of projects I could potentially work on ranging from resident event flyers to presentations and digital advertisements to demographic research. It seemed like a job I could never get bored with where there was always something different to work on.

But the projects weren’t the only thing that drew me in. Optima’s culture, values, and mission stood out to me. To me, it’s always been important to find a company that aligns with my own values and beliefs (i.e. good work-life balance, volunteer opportunities, relationship-building events, etc) and Optima seemed like a great fit. The rest is history!

How do you view the concept of community at Optima? 

The concept of community is more-so a feeling at Optima. It’s easy for people to work together or live under the same roof, but it’s the strong sense of community that we strive for– we want them to feel at home. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the everyday lives of our residents and team members.

For example, we have a growing number of families at our properties with young children. Of course, we have many events that cater towards adults, but we wanted more ways to get the kids involved. In efforts to do so, we came up with a Kids’ Club at each of our properties which includes a rotating calendar of events, giveaways, and a move-in folder full of goodies (i.e. property treasure hunt, Optima coloring book, crayons, Kids’ Club passport, etc). Whether it’s through experiences, conveniences, or a change in design or features, we encourage feedback and take the initiative to go above and beyond.

Optima has a unique set of values that differentiates it from other company cultures. How does that affect the quality of your work life? What values matter most to you? 

“Speed and detail set us apart” is the value that resonates the most with me. I work on projects for all properties plus our corporate office that have different priorities and deadlines, so it’s essential that I stay organized and don’t lose sight of the mission and end goal.

I collaborate with each team, whether it’s the Architect, Construction, or Leasing & Management teams, while taking account of team member and resident feedback to develop strategies and marketing materials or collateral from those conversations. It’s important to be detailed throughout the entire process— from the ideation phase to the final design or solution.

What are some of the things you have learned in your time at Optima? 

Where do I even begin? I’ve learned so much at Optima and am constantly learning every day, which is something I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of. New knowledge is so valuable.

I’ve learned that when more people are involved in a project, the longer the process is. But, in return, the result is the best that it could be. Solo creating and editing is fun, but to be able to collaborate and bounce ideas off one another is extraordinarily beneficial.

What makes you most proud to be a part of the Optima team?

What makes me most proud to be a part of Optima is everyone’s genuineness and respectfulness towards one another. I always feel heard and appreciated.

This stretches to the resident-side of things as well. We have a passion for making living at our properties an unmatched experience through the relationships we build, services we provide, amenities we have, and innovative design that we create.

What do you hope to accomplish in the year ahead?

In the year ahead, I plan to support my teams as much as possible, design exceptionally, and learn more—especially from my first lease-up at Optima Lakeview!

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:

Awards

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.

Culture

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.

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn brings brisk weather, parks filled with vibrantly colored leaves, and an endless array of pop-ups, markets and festive events. The residents of Optima Signature have easy access to all of the city’s most bewitching autumn pastimes. Here are a few of the many activities to do this autumn in Chicago. 

Chicago Classics

Chicago is home to many autumn events that are entirely unique to the city. Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is one of them. The one-of-a-kind outdoor experience is home to an axe-throwing range, classic carnival games, a dense pumpkin patch and Chicago’s largest corn maze. Food trucks serving fall cuisine and bars serving seasonal cocktails can be found across the two-acre experience. General admission for Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is $25 and it is open every day through October 31. You can find more information and get tickets here.

Just a few miles East of Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up, Navy Pier’s Pumpkin Lights transform the beloved spot into a must-do fall outing. Throughout the month, guests will find Pier-wide deals, festive activities and more than 1,000 decorated pumpkins. 

After finding carving inspiration at Navy Pier, an architectural boat or walking tour featuring Optima Signature is the perfect way to end a fall day. The crisp, breezy fall weather is perfect for a guided tour on foot through the heart of the city or down the Chicago River in one of its famous river cruises. The educational trips cover more than 50 of Chicago’s iconic buildings and are appreciated by tourists and city natives alike. You can learn more about Chicago’s renowned architecture tours here.  

Fall Day Trip

Just outside the city, you can find a handful of farms home to more traditional autumn favorites. Odyssey Fun Farm, located 40 minutes outside of the city in Tinley Park, is one of the many locations perfect for a fall day trip. The prized destination has zip lines, hayrides, a Pac-Man-themed corn maze and a full pumpkin patch. You can visit the farm every Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m through Halloween.  

Apple picking makes for another fun fall activity. Located just outside of Libertyville, Heinz Orchard is Chicago’s closest. The small family-run orchard offers apple picking over other seasonal endeavors. Red and Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Empire and Jonathan apple trees all fill the spirited environment.  In addition to Heinz Orchard, you can find more apple orchards for the perfect day trip around Chicagoland here

Chicago’s autumn months don’t last long. So before time runs out, take advantage of the unique events located in the heart of Chicago, or plan a day trip to one of the many wonderful locations full of seasonal fun outside of the city.

Exploring Optima Communities: Camelback Mountain

One of the reasons we were inspired to move to Arizona was our love for the surrounding desert landscape, and that same passion still resonates across our Arizona communities. An iconic landmark in the greater Phoenix area, Camelback Mountain is a prime example of the way nature informs our own designs through its neighboring Optima communities, Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Camelview Village. But Camelback Mountain has its own distinct allure, fostering a wide-reaching and beloved sense of community for many in the area.

Camelback is located in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area between the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix and the town of Paradise Valley, and is named after its distinct shape, which resembles the hump and head of a kneeling camel. The site has long held significance to Native tribes and settlers in the area, and by the early 1900s, there were strong efforts to keep the mountain protected and preserved. The surrounding area saw major development, but in 1965, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater helped secure the higher elevations against development. The area became a Phoenix city park in 1968.

View of Camelback Mountain from Optima Camelview Village
View of Camelback Mountain from Optima Camelview Village

Phoenix offers seven breathtaking mountain summits to climb, and Camelback Mountain has the highest, reaching 2,704 feet to provide the best views in the area. Climbing to the summit is considered a right of passage for many.  Hikers can choose from two trails to reach the summit: Echo Canyon and Cholla. Both trails are difficult, with Echo Canyon being the steeper of the two and Cholla being the longer option. Luckily, there are a few less strenuous trail hikes as back-up options, as well. Camelback is the perfect place to experience the vast diversity of desert beauty; from colorful granite, to blooming wildflowers, to local wildlife. And since the trailhead is only 20 minutes away from downtown, there are plenty of places to recharge after a long hike.  

There’s a reason why Camelback Mountain is considered one of Phoenix’s Points of Pride; the beauty both on — and off — the mountain top are truly spectacular. 

Team Member Spotlight: Barbie Clemons

Our team is the heart and soul of Optima; the living embodiment of our values in action. We recently sat down (virtually, of course) with Barbie Clemons, Leasing Manager at Optima Sonoran Village, to talk about her journey working with Optima and what she loves most about being part of our team.

Tell us a bit about your background and the role you play at Optima.

I started out in sales and customer service before working at Optima. My experience ranged from working at a clothing company to managing bars and restaurants. I loved being in a fast-paced environment but wanted something new and got my real estate license.

An Optima recruiter brought me on board as a Leasing Agent at Optima Kierland. At Kierland, we leased up so quickly. The pace and the environment fed my soul. So after a year of different positions at Optima Kierland, I moved to Optima Sonoran Village and headed lease-up on the new tower. I was excited for the challenge: we were already 100% leased at Kierland and I couldn’t wait to work on the 800 units here. Within a year, I was promoted to the Community Manager/Leasing Manager role. It’s been amazing. I love this company and I love what I do.

What drew you to Optima initially, and what’s kept you working there all these years?

I was drawn in by the opportunity to use my skill set in a new environment. I’d done retail and hospitality and wanted something that would mix the two of them together — because in hospitality, I missed the sales portion, and vice versa. At Optima, I get to do both, all the while building long lasting relationships with residents and finding them homes they’ll stay in for a long time. 

I’m constantly challenged here: can we hit this number, can we get to the next level? It’s very progressive and that’s my favorite part about working here. This is a company looking to change and move and evolve, instead of doing what everyone else does.

How do you view collaboration and mentorship within Optima?

What I love about Optima is that it’s a collaborative team and environment. My voice is always heard. No matter what level I was at in the company, I could approach someone and say, “I have an idea, can we try this?” Even on the building side — we’re under this umbrella where we can touch everything. For example: when Optima Kierland was under construction, they asked us for feedback we’ve received and we told them residents want more closet space. The construction team pivoted and included that in the next tower.

Optima has a distinct set of values that really differentiates it from other companies. Which values really speak to the work you’ve done at Optima and your methodologies?

There’s a solution for every problem: that value resonates with me. I’ve worked every position that Optima has on the property management level — I’ve done leasing, leasing manager, and even right now, I’m filling in for a business manager position we have open. So I’ve gotten to be versatile and learn every aspect of the company in order to help out. To live and breathe and be part of a progressive company, you have to be that way. I love, love, love that it’s one of our core values. We can figure it out. Optima is always open to ideas that are outside the box.

What are some things you’ve learned during your time at Optima?

Teamwork makes the dream work. It takes every single person on your team to make properties run and to make us successful — whether that’s construction or our executive team. They really meld the mind; we talk at every level and we get to bring ideas to the table. That’s something I’ve learned and love about this company, and something that I was missing from other companies I’ve worked for. You don’t feel like a number here, you feel like your name and your voice matters. 

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. 

Awards

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.  

Culture

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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