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Art in the Village: A Celebration of Creativity and Community

At Optima®, we are always excited to engage with the vibrant arts and cultural events in our communities. This summer, we invite you to join us for Art in the Village — the Winnetka Fine Art Fair, a two-day celebration of fine arts taking place on June 22 and 23, 2024, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at Hubbard Woods Park. It’s just a short drive from Optima Verdana® and a summer celebration you won’t want to miss.

Event Details:

  • Date: June 22-23, 2024
  • Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Location: Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, IL 60093
  • Admission: Free

Sponsored by the storied North Shore Art League, the 11th edition of the fair promises to be an enriching experience, featuring the incredible talents of 70 jury-selected local and national artists. Visitors can explore a diverse range of artistic mediums, including oil paintings, mixed media, photography, sculpture, and more. Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply looking for a delightful weekend activity, the fair offers something for everyone.

Hubbard Woods Park provides a picturesque backdrop for this boutique exhibition, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of nature while discovering exquisite artworks. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and immerse yourself in the creativity and craftsmanship on display.

Visitors browsing the artists’ stands during Art in the Village 2023

One of the highlights of the fair is the opportunity to meet the artists behind the works. Engage in conversations about their inspirations and techniques, and perhaps find the perfect piece to add to your collection.

On Sunday, don’t miss the chance to see NSAL faculty member and portrait artist Lisa DePinto in action. Lisa will be on-site painting quick oil portraits, providing a unique opportunity to witness her artistic process firsthand and perhaps even take home a personalized piece of art.

Explore Green Bay Road
Before or after your visit to the fair, take some time to explore the shops and restaurants along Green Bay Road. This charming area offers a variety of dining and shopping options, making it a perfect complement to your art fair experience.

Art in the Village is a wonderful opportunity to connect with North Shore neighbors, support artists, and enjoy a weekend filled with art and culture. View more information and the list of participating artists here.

Optima® Voices: Interview with Jodi Gabler, General Manager at Optima Sonoran Village®

Optima® Voices: Conversations with Our Property Teams is a series that brings you closer to the individuals who make our communities thrive. Through these interviews, we’re shedding light on the dedicated staff behind the seamless operation of Optima’s properties, highlighting their passion, experiences, and the personal touches they bring to enhancing the living experience for residents. Join us as we explore the stories of those who deliver — day in and day out — the quality of living that makes Optima communities extraordinary. Today, we’re talking with Jodi Gabler, General Manager at Optima Sonoran Village® whose role highlights her deep connection to both Optima® and the broader community.

“I’ve just celebrated six years here at Optima Sonoran Village®,” explains Jodi.  “I cannot believe it’s been that long! I came from a long career working in residential property management across Arizona, and from the beginning, I understood that joining the Optima® team was going to be very different.

Optima Sonoran Village® had been open for a year when I was hired. It was the first rental property for Optima®, which at the time had a long history of successful condominium projects. From the beginning, I understood that my role was going to be helping make this particular property a success, while also helping build a unique property management platform that could be activated across future projects. In other words, I was signing on to create a new level of property management that the Scottsdale and Arizona markets hadn’t seen.”

Jodi continues. “Part of what attracted me to Optima® was their emerging business model, based upon a commitment to holding properties. It was just so refreshing to me and I really responded to the emphasis on building for the long haul. Great modernist design, quality materials, excellent construction, superb landscaping, amenities galore and exemplary service. And on the service side, I was being asked to help establish an entirely new approach to property management.

That’s where my Optima Sonoran Village® journey began.”

“We’ve all learned so much since I stepped into my role,” Jodi says. “In the early days at Optima Sonoran Village®, we identified several areas for growth in both vacancy reduction and the customer experience. The whole team came together to understand the root causes, which allowed us to put policies and procedures into place to deliver consistent service and make sure we were communicating well with residents — and with each other. And once we made these commitments, things quickly began to improve. We also came to realize that if we were going to make Optima® Sonoran Village and our other communities standout, we needed to embrace our unique approaches and philosophies. The process of focusing on what makes Optima® special has been a huge part of our continued success.

Much of the work I do every day comes down to embracing flexibility and being open. I think about it as ‘organized chaos’ because it requires the team to always be ready for change — particularly types of change that improve the quality of living for our residents.”

“I take great pride in how we continue to elevate the programming for residents at Optima Sonoran Village®,” Jodi shares, “and really focus on delivering a lifestyle experience that supports the community. We see such great engagement in popular events like our casino and bingo nights, paint-and-sip, and weekend brunches with live music, for example. And then we also see the kinds of neighborliness that forms as people socialize at the pool and dog park, or work out together in the fitness center. The design of the amenity spaces is ideal for gathering and our residents take full advantage.

We also love when our residents jump in to organize regular events that cater to the interests of smaller groups, like the monthly Book Club and informal professional meet-ups.”

Jodi reflects, “In recent months, I’ve been involved in onboarding a number of new team members, which includes talking about Optima®’s core values. As I reflect on our values, I realize that the one that resonates the most with me is, “Do the right thing.” It’s just something that always hits home with me. When I’m making decisions, I find myself asking, “What’s the right thing for everybody, not just for me? And am I willing to go the extra distance or work harder to get there?” I feel fortunate to have a thought process that guides me through every kind of decision.

I look back on these six years at Optima Sonoran Village® and think about what I’ve learned. I’d say the greatest gift has been understanding what it means to focus on progress, not perfection.  Early on, I was always critical and impatient about things I wanted to change. I’ve come to appreciate how slowing down actually leads to lasting change, not a quick fix. So with patience and perspective, I’m able to appreciate what I’m doing today and also see what’s down the road. And that new insight makes me proud to be part of a company and a team where I can make a difference.”

 

Discovering the Wonders of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum

At Optima®, we believe in fostering a sense of community and encouraging our residents to explore the rich natural beauty that surrounds them. One of the hidden gems in the Scottsdale area that perfectly aligns with our values of wellness, sustainability, and lifelong learning is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona — an hour’s drive from Scottsdale. This expansive botanical garden, an unrivaled  sanctuary of biodiversity,  offers a serene retreat and a wealth of opportunities for discovery within an hour’s drive from Optima®’s communities.

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum (BYA) is Arizona’s largest and oldest botanical garden. Established in 1924 by mining magnate William Boyce Thompson, the arboretum spans over 300 acres of breathtaking landscapes. Visitors can explore a myriad of plant species from deserts around the world, organized in thematic gardens that highlight the diversity and adaptability of desert flora.

Purple Hedgehog bloom. Credit: ksblack99 on Flickr Creative Commons, public domain.

For Optima® residents, a visit to the arboretum is a chance to revel  in nature’s splendor. The Desert Legume Garden, Cactus Garden, and South American and African collections offer unique insights into the plant life that thrives in some of the world’s harshest environments. The arboretum’s commitment to conservation and education makes it a perfect destination for those who appreciate the importance of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Credit: davidpinter on Wikimedia Commons licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Engaging Programs and Scenic Beauty
BYA’s educational programs are a cornerstone of its mission to inspire and inform. It offers a variety of guided tours, workshops, and classes that cater to all age groups and interests. For families, the Children’s Adventure Garden is a delightful space where kids can learn about nature through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities.

For the more curious minds, the arboretum’s guided tours provide in-depth knowledge about the plant collections and the history of the garden. Optima® residents who enjoy continuous learning will find these programs enriching and stimulating, offering new perspectives on botany and ecology.

One of the most captivating features of BYA  is its network of hiking trails. These trails meander through varied landscapes, offering stunning views and intimate encounters with nature. The Main Trail, High Trail, and the more challenging Chihuahuan Trail each provide unique experiences, from shaded riparian areas to panoramic desert vistas.

For those seeking tranquility, the trails are a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The beauty of the arboretum’s diverse plant life combined with the peacefulness of the surroundings creates an ideal setting for reflection and relaxation. It’s an invitation to slow down, breathe deeply, and reconnect with nature.

A Haven Birdwatchers and Artists

BYA is also a haven for bird enthusiasts or those who simply enjoy observing wildlife. Its diverse habitats attract a wide variety of bird species, making it one of the top birding spots in Arizona, offering endless delight in spotting different species, from colorful hummingbirds to majestic raptors.

Nature’s beauty at the arboretum also makes it a favorite destination for artists and photographers. The ever-changing landscapes and seasonal blooms provide a constant source of inspiration. Whether you’re an amateur photographer capturing the vibrant colors of wildflowers or a seasoned artist drawing the intricate patterns of cacti, the arboretum offers countless opportunities to express your creativity.As a community hub, the arboretum hosts a variety of events that bring people together to celebrate nature and culture. From plant sales and seasonal festivals to art exhibits and musical performances, there’s always something happening that fosters a sense of community and shared experience. It is truly a treasure trove of natural wonders and educational opportunities — a place where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the desert, learn about the intricate web of life that sustains our planet, and find inspiration in the diversity and resilience of nature. It’s a visit that promises to enrich your mind, soothe your soul, and deepen your connection to the natural world.

For details about visiting BYA and its programming, see their website here.

 

 

Discover Optima®’s Commercial Tenants: Kimberly Mack, SKIN Laser & MedSpa

At Optima®, we are passionate about fostering a vibrant community where enterprises thrive alongside our residents, creating a dynamic living experience. In this installment of “Discover Optima’s Commercial Tenants,” we sat down with Kimberly Mack, Owner and Esthetician at SKIN Laser & MedSpa, to share her thoughts about how her business brings the fusion of luxury living and wellness services to Optima Signature®.

Kim shares, “I moved to Chicago in 2019 from Florida and moved into Optima Signature® as a resident. I’m a licensed aesthetician and had been working in a medical spa in Wicker Park when Covid happened and the spa closed. When things began to open up again in 2020, I considered my options and happened upon the business suites here on the seventh level in the building, and pursued a lease of one of the spaces to set up my own medspa.

After nearly four years, I love the practice I’ve established. I have wonderful clients and Optima Signature® is also an incredible place to live. I’m able to offer a range of services, including skin resurfacing, peels, facials, RF microneedling, and I’m fortunate to have been voted “best in Chicago” for in 2022 and 2023 is laser hair removal!”

Credit: SKIN Laser & MedSpa

Kim continues, “I’ve never built a business before, and the building management was incredibly eager to help promote my spa when I started. They threw a great “grand opening” party and promoted the business with residents in the building with flyers in the elevators and business cards in the Welcome Bags for new residents.”

What started as a personal business endeavor has grown into a valuable amenity for the residents of Optima Signature®. “Many of my clients are from the building itself. They love the convenience of just taking an elevator to their appointments,” Kim notes. For those living in Optima Signature®, SKIN Laser & MedSpa is not just a medspa but a part of their daily lives, enhancing the community feel and the building’s appeal.

Kim takes great care in treating her clients. She explains, “I greet them at the elevator when they get off on the seventh floor and schedule plenty of time for each person, so no one feels they are sitting in an unfriendly waiting room. I have to say the architecture of the building — with its minimal design, floor-to-ceiling windows, and amazing views, contributes to people immediately feeling “zen” when they enter my treatment space.”

As SKIN Laser & MedSpa continues to grow, the foundation of community and convenience remains at its core. The medspa has become a symbol of how personal wellness and luxury living can blend seamlessly, providing an example of Optima®’s commitment to fostering an environment where residents can thrive.

Supporting entrepreneurs like Kim underscores the potential of integrating personal wellness businesses within residential communities. It’s a testament to our visionary approach at Optima®, creating spaces where professional aspirations flourish alongside personal well-being.

Celebrating a Chicago Tradition: The 2024 Grant Park Music Festival

The Grant Park Music Festival, a cherished tradition in Chicago, is back for its 2024 season, promising a summer filled with mesmerizing performances that cater to a wide variety of musical tastes, From June 12th through August 17th, the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus will deliver a lineup rich with classical masterpieces, contemporary works, and engaging thematic concerts under the artistic direction of Carlos Kalmar. For the residents of Optima Signature® and Optima Lakeview®, the festival offers a splendid opportunity to engage with Chicago’s vibrant cultural scene.

The Grant Park Music Festival is a significant cultural event in Chicago, celebrated for its nearly 90-year tradition of making classical music accessible to all. The festival was born out of the Great Depression as a collaborative effort between Mayor Anton Cermak and James C. Petrillo, the president of the musicians’ union, to provide free, high-quality musical performances to lift the spirits of Chicagoans during tough times.

Grant Park Music Festival, Pritzker Pavilion. Credit: Farrah Malik, Silverman Group on Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Since its inception in 1935, the festival has become a beloved summer tradition. The Chicago Park District officially established the Grant Park Orchestra in 1944 under the leadership of Principal Conductor Nikolai Malko. Over the decades, the orchestra has been guided by illustrious conductors such as Irwin Hoffman, Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, and Hugh Wolff, with Carlos Kalmar taking over as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor in 2000.

In 1962, the Grant Park Chorus was founded, initially led by Thomas Peck. The chorus has since thrived under the direction of Christopher Bell, who has been at the helm since 2002, adding a rich vocal dimension to the festival’s offerings.

The festival’s venues have evolved alongside its artistic growth. Originally held in a temporary bandshell near the Field Museum, the festival moved to the Petrillo Bandshell in 1978, named after its founder. In 2004, it found a new home at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, a state-of-the-art facility designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. This venue offers an unparalleled auditory experience, perfectly complementing the festival’s high-caliber performances.

Today, the Grant Park Music Festival operates as a collaboration between the Grant Park Orchestral Association, the Chicago Park District, and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. It continues to offer an array of concerts, artistic development programs, radio broadcasts, and community engagement initiatives, all free to the public. This commitment to accessibility and excellence in music performance reflects the festival’s enduring legacy and its transformative impact on the city of Chicago.

The festival’s mission resonates deeply with the community-oriented culture of Optima®’s properties, including Optima Signature® and Optima Lakeview®,allowing its special blend of artistic vibrancy and communal engagement to bring people together through the universal language of music.

 

To learn more about the 2024 season, visit the Grant Park Music Festival website here.

Driving Luxury Home: Golf Amenities in Optima® Communities

​​Golf enthusiasts often find themselves yearning for convenient, year-round access to their beloved sport. Recognizing this passion, we’re increasingly incorporating both indoor and outdoor golf amenities into our communities at Optima®. These facilities cater to our ardent golfer residents, but also encourage others to grab a club and exercise their curiosity!

The popularity of golf amenities reflects broader lifestyle trends among Optima® residents towards health, wellness, and leisure activities that can be enjoyed at home. In a world where convenience is highly valued, having access to such facilities right outside your door is a huge advantage — especially when these amenities are part of a comprehensive package of wellness and recreational facilities available in Optima® communities, including spas, fitness centers, and outdoor sports areas, ensuring that all our residents, not just golf enthusiasts, have access to a holistic lifestyle.

At Optima®, the integration of golf amenities is designed to blend seamlessly with the community’s wellness-forward lifestyle. Indoor golf simulators, a standout feature, allow residents to enjoy a round of golf regardless of the weather outside. These high-tech simulators offer a realistic golfing experience, complete with different course simulations, swing analysis tools, and even coaching software. It’s more than just a game; it’s a comprehensive improvement platform for beginners and seasoned golfers alike.

Golf simulator at Optima Verdana®

Outdoor putting greens complement these indoor facilities, providing a perfect setting for residents to practice their short game or enjoy a leisurely evening with friends and family. These greens are meticulously maintained, mirroring the feel of the best courses, and are often designed by renowned golf architects. They not only serve as a practical space for improving one’s golf skills but also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the community, contributing to the serene, green spaces that are a signature of Optima® buildings.

At Optima®, we recognize that amenities like golf facilities contribute to nurturing a community around shared interests. Regular tournaments and casual meet-ups organized at these golf amenities encourage social interactions among residents, allowing neighbors to connect, share tims, and socialize in a relaxed, enjoyable setting.

At Optima®, the commitment to providing high-quality, thoughtfully designed amenities is evident in every detail. From the choice of simulation technology in indoor golf facilities to the landscaping of outdoor greens, everything is chosen to deliver an exceptional experience. This attention to detail ensures that the amenities not only meet the practical needs of the residents but also exceed their expectations in terms of quality and design.

 

Optima® Voices: Interview With Christine Kleronomos, Resident Leasing Manager at Optima Signature®

Optima® Voices: Conversations with Our Property Teams is a series that brings you closer to the individuals who make our communities thrive. Through these interviews, we’re shedding light on the dedicated staff behind the seamless operation of Optima’s properties, highlighting their passion, experiences, and the personal touches they bring to enhancing the living experience for residents. Join us as we explore the stories of those who deliver — day in and day out — the quality of living that makes Optima communities extraordinary. Today, we’re talking with Christine Kleronomos, Resident Leasing Manager at Optima Signature®, whose role highlights her deep connection to both Optima® and the broader community.

Christine explains, “I stepped into a position as a Leasing Consultant at Optima Signature® in the spring of 2022, after returning to Chicago after 10 years in Los Angeles, working property management. I grew up in real estate working weekends at a young age out of my family’s real estate office in Logan Square, property management was always very familiar to me.  I was initially attracted to the position at Optima Signature® because the business is family-owned, and that resonated with me. I appreciate how they literally build their communities from the ground up, which is quite different from other property management companies. Optima® is focused on long-term ownership, controlling everything from development to beautiful architecture to property management.”

Christine goes on, “In July 2022, only a few months after arriving at Optima Signature®, I had the opportunity to transition into the role of Resident Leasing Manager. For me, the position blends my industry knowledge with my passion for community engagement and helping nurture an atmosphere that is welcoming and vibrant. Between the incredible amenities in the building, the Montessori school on the premises, the dog-friendly environment, and our tight-knit staff, we have created a familial setting for our residents that is unique among high-rises in Chicago.”

Christine’s efforts and the inclusive environment of Optima® have fostered strong community ties and high resident retention, with many choosing to stay long-term due to the enriching lifestyle and extensive amenities Optima Signature® offers. “The amenities really drive our traffic and keep residents here,” Christine says, highlighting the impact of the wellness areas and communal spaces on the seventh and eighth floors on the decision-making of potential and current residents. “Honestly, there’s no other community around that offers residents a basketball court, golf simulator, full gym, indoor and outdoor pools — AND great spaces for kids — especially during the cold weather months in Chicago. It’s such a great lifestyle and way to give people healthy balance.”

When asked about which Optima® values align most with her own, Christine immediately answers, “Inclusiveness. It’s so unusual to be in a company where management listens and responds. I’m so grateful that my observations, opinions, and suggestions are a welcome part of our leasing calls, for example, and that changes happen because of my input and that of my colleagues. It makes me feel accountable and connected to my work, my team, and our residents.”

She continues, “Because of the great communication and rapport among us, I also get to learn and grow as change happens. That’s important to me. I also have the opportunity to get to know our residents, which also makes the job so satisfying.”

Christine concludes with a reflection on her pride in being part of the Optima Signature® team, emphasizing the joy and fulfillment she derives from her work. “What I do every day doesn’t feel like work at all,” she shares, “because I get to be part of an amazing group of professionals who really care — and know how to get things done!”

 

Experiencing Memory and Humanity: The Illinois Holocaust Museum

At Optima®, our commitment to enriching lives extends beyond the luxurious confines of our communities to embrace the profound cultural institutions that surround them. One such place of deep historical significance and human connectivity is the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, located in the suburb of Skokie, just a stone’s throw from our communities in and near Chicago. This museum stands as a bastion of remembrance and education, encouraging visitors to reflect on the past’s harsh realities to foster a more compassionate and understanding future.

A Journey of Remembrance and Learning
Founded with the mission to remember the lives of those lost in the Holocaust and to teach current and future generations about the dangers of hatred, the Illinois Holocaust Museum was born out of a community of survivors. Their stories, and the preservation of their memories, are at the heart of the museum’s expansive narrative, providing an emotionally powerful experience that resonates deeply with visitors from all walks of life.

From the moment one steps into the museum, the architecture speaks volumes. Designed to evoke the emotional arc of despair to hope, the building itself takes visitors on a transformative journey. The museum’s stark, angular entrances lead into a space that softens into curving walls and gradually ascending pathways, symbolizing the ascent from darkness into light—a powerful architectural metaphor for resilience and renewal.

Exhibits That Educate and Inspire
The museum’s permanent exhibition, “The Holocaust,” is meticulously curated, featuring over 500 artifacts and numerous testimonies from survivors. Through immersive displays and innovative technology, visitors encounter a comprehensive narrative of the Holocaust, from pre-war life through the ghettos and concentration camps, to liberation and the lives survivors built post-war. This exhibition not only educates but also connects deeply with the universal themes of human rights and dignity.

Another significant aspect of the museum is the “Take a Stand Center.” This recent addition utilizes groundbreaking technology to create interactive, holographic testimonies from survivors, allowing visitors to engage with history in a profoundly personal way. This center is complemented by the “Make a Difference! The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition,” which encourages younger visitors to learn about the power of their actions and the impact they can have on their world, aligning with Optima’s vision of empowering community members of all ages.

Community Engagement and Global Impact
Beyond its exhibits, the Illinois Holocaust Museum stands as a leader in community engagement and education. The museum organizes a myriad of programs, from guest lectures and survivor talks to teacher education that reaches beyond the local community to impact global audiences. These programs are designed to combat hatred, prejudice, and indifference, echoing Optima®’s ethos of community betterment and inclusivity.

For residents of Optima®, the proximity to such an institution offers a unique opportunity to engage with history, reflect on human behaviors, and understand the impact of actions rooted in discrimination and intolerance. It’s a poignant reminder of the past and a hopeful gaze towards a future where such atrocities can be prevented through education and understanding.

Beyond its role as an historical archive, the Illinois Holocaust Museum is a living institution that challenges visitors to reflect on moral questions and their roles within society. It’s this spirit of introspection and community improvement that resonates with Optima®’s values. As we continue to support and promote institutions like the Illinois Holocaust Museum, we reinforce our commitment to building communities that are informed, compassionate, and resilient.

For anyone looking to deepen their understanding of history and humanity, a visit to the Illinois Holocaust Museum is not just recommended; it’s a must. It’s an experience that promises to move, educate, and inspire, fostering a community knowledgeable about the past and dedicated to shaping a more just and humane future.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum is located at 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077. To learn more, visit their website here.

Savor the Flavor of Arizona: 2024 Spring Restaurant Week

At Optima®, we’re not only about creating extraordinary living spaces; we’re about embracing and enriching the community experience. That’s why we are excited to announce the return of the Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) this spring, offering our residents and neighbors a fabulous opportunity to delve into the rich culinary landscape of Arizona. Scheduled from May 17 through May 26, 2024, this bi-annual event invites food lovers to explore an array of dining options that highlight the creativity and diversity of local chefs.

A Culinary Journey Across Arizona
Arizona Restaurant Week is organized by the Arizona Restaurant Association, a body committed to supporting and advocating for the state’s vibrant hospitality industry. This spring, the event promises an enriching exploration of flavors, with more than 150 restaurants participating statewide. From high-end dining establishments to quaint chef-driven eateries, the variety ensures that every palate and preference is catered to, making this a perfect culinary adventure for everyone.

Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash

Each participating restaurant will offer a special ARW menu, distinct from their regular offerings. These menus are crafted to showcase the chefs’ culinary prowess and feature innovative dishes that incorporate hyper-seasonal and trending ingredients. Diners will have the unique opportunity to sample new dishes at a fraction of the usual cost, with three-course prix-fixe menus priced at $33, $44, or $55 per person. Some venues will also pair these exquisite meals with specially crafted cocktails or fine wines, enhancing the dining experience further.

Photo by Crystal Jo on Unsplash

Dine on a Deal
What makes the Arizona Restaurant Week truly special is the chance to indulge in a dining experience that might typically be beyond one’s everyday dining budget. Restaurants like Buck & Rider and the new Faro & Brag in The Westin Kierland are just a few names in the impressive lineup. These establishments, known for their exceptional culinary offerings, will open their doors to seasoned foodies and casual diners alike, providing memorable meals without the hefty price tag.

This year, the event is sponsored by Tito’s, which means participants can look forward to an exclusive Tito’s Spring ARW cocktail at many venues. Each restaurant is encouraged to infuse their unique twist into these cocktails, promising a refreshingly diverse drinking experience to complement the meals.

Engage with Your Culinary Community
For residents of Optima® communities, particularly those near vibrant culinary hubs like Scottsdale, Arizona Restaurant Week is more than just about food; it’s an invitation to engage with the broader community. It’s a celebration of Arizona’s culinary innovation and a testament to the lively food scene that residents can enjoy all year round. Optima®’s ideal locations provide easy access to many of these dining venues, making it convenient for residents to participate in the festivities.

As Optima® continues to support and participate in local events like the Arizona Restaurant Week, we reaffirm our commitment to building communities and enhancing lifestyles. We encourage our residents to dive into this culinary adventure, exploring new tastes and experiences that deepen their appreciation for Arizona’s dynamic food culture. Whether it’s a night out at a new restaurant or a return visit to an old favorite, Arizona Restaurant Week 2024 is the perfect time to celebrate the flavors that make our community a wonderful place to live and dine.

For more information on Arizona 2024 Spring Restaurant Week, visit arizonarestaurantweek.com.

Inside Optima®: Resident Stories, Interview with Arielle Band, “Lunch With Friends” Founder at Optima Lakeview®

Welcome to Inside Optima®: Resident Stories, a series that takes you behind the scenes of life in Optima’s dynamic communities. Through intimate conversations with our residents, we’re exploring the diverse experiences, unique lifestyles, and vibrant cultures that flourish within Optima’s architecturally stunning buildings. Join us as we discover what makes living in an Optima® community not just a choice of residence, but a way of life. In this conversation, we sat down with Arielle Band, resident and founder of “Lunch with Friends” at Optima Lakeview®.

How long have you been a resident at Optima Lakeview® and what got you there?
My teenage daughter and I moved to Chicago from Maryland in July 2023. Optima Lakeview® was the only building we visited because we fell in love with it right from the start. The layouts were great for us, the feeling of walking into the atrium flooded with light is amazing and all the amenities are fantastic. — including the gym, the pool, the pickleball court, and the community spaces. Honestly, the building kind of spoke to us. It was a little above our budget, but we were willing to make the stretch because the lifestyle it gives us makes all the difference. I was familiar with the Lakeview neighborhood prior to moving which helped us settle in, along with the fact that my daughter’s school is a short distance from Optima Lakeview®. And once we got here, Maike, the property manager, immediately began to introduce us to folks, making us feel welcomed and comfortable.

Can you tell us how “Lunch with Friends” came to be?
The Optima Lakeview® property team makes a lot of effort to help build and engage the community, and it’s fantastic the way they host regular events that give all of us opportunities to meet each other and create connections. It’s an enormous help for the many of us who are new to Chicago — and particularly those of us who also work from home and find it more challenging to build new relationships because our colleagues are all scattered around the world.

After a few months, I found that some of the social events like wine nights were getting so popular and drawing bigger crowds that it became a little harder to meet new people. So it occurred to me that it would be fantastic to create a subgroup of residents who are around the building during the day, working. I figured, ‘I am in my apartment all day every day and there are plenty of others at Optima Lakeview® doing the same thing. Why don’t we get together once a month, grab lunch, and get to know each other a little bit?’

I first brought the idea to Nick, who was the former leasing manager, and he took it to Maike. And Maike helped make things happen from there. He promotes the gatherings via our building app and with signage in prominent places, and arranges for catering.

Pretty simple! That’s how “Lunch with Friends” began — launched in January 2024.

What does a typical gathering look like for your group?
We meet in the Residents’ Club at lunchtime, and there are typically 20-30 of us. We use the long communal table that seats 12 and the smaller tables for 4 to 6 people, so the gathering is comfortable and intimate. People filter in, grab food, find a seat and get to chat with people they haven’t met before, or others they’ve met but don’t see often. It’s so great how you very naturally wind up having some first conversations with neighbors or deepening relationships you’ve already started.

Can you share a memorable experience or conversation from one of your gatherings?
Back in February, one of the residents who came to lunch is an airline pilot, who is at home on days that he isn’t flying. The rest of us were so curious about what it’s like to be a pilot that we clustered around him to ask questions and hear about his experiences. By the end of that lunch, we had all decided we wanted to change careers and become pilots!

At another lunch, I met a neighbor who had just moved to the building and they moved to Optima Lakeview® because there had been a fire in her home. She too has children, and so I was able to tell her about some of the great amenities and activities for kids in the building and neighborhood.  Really, the conversations are just natural and organic, and run the gamut from our work lives to our personal lives.

person name goes here

Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL





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