Design-driven real estate development firm Optima, Inc. announced today its own construction team broke ground on the six-story, 100-unit Optima Verdana luxury apartment building in downtown Wilmette, Ill., on Chicago’s North Shore. The development is the firm’s second new Chicago-area retail and luxury apartment building to break ground in the last year – the 198-unit Optima Lakeview is scheduled for completion in spring 2022. Optima Verdana plans to welcome its first residents in spring 2023.

Located at the corner of Central Avenue and Green Bay Road, Optima Verdana will bring a new level of rental luxury to the North Shore. Featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom residences with an average size of 1,507 square feet, the boutique building will also feature 8,000 square feet of street-level retail.

True to its name, which is inspired by the word “verdure” meaning lush, green vegetation, Optima Verdana marks the Chicago-area debut of the latest evolution of Optima’s signature vertical landscaping system. Developed at Optima’s Arizona projects, the Verdana landscaping system has been modified to accommodate the Midwest’s four seasons. The plantings on all of Verdana’s private resident terraces will stay green year-round and be maintained by Optima’s property management team. The self-containing irrigation and drainage system promotes evaporative cooling, re-oxygenates the air, reduces dust and smog levels, decreases ambient noise and detains stormwater.

“In designing Optima Verdana, we’ve prioritized biophilic elements in a way that puts outdoor space, natural light and fresh air at the center of residents’ day-to-day lives – from our signature vertical landscaping system to spacious terraces and a landscaped courtyard,” said David Hovey Sr., FAIA, CEO of Optima, Inc. “Residents can not only immerse themselves in the outdoors from their private terrace space, but also reap benefits from its abundant greenery, which offers added privacy and an increased aesthetic value. We’ve even enhanced our commitment to sustainability by reducing our use of gas, opting for electric grills on terraces and induction cooktops in kitchens.”

Hovey noted Optima Verdana represents a 360-degree approach to sustainability. Optima Verdana will be constructed to achieve two Green Globes through the Green Globes® Building Certification, which is an alternative to LEED® certification that promotes lower energy and water bills, reduced emissions, optimized health and wellness benefits for residents, and minimizes waste. Green construction practices Optima will use to build Verdana include green concrete for the superstructure and a super energy efficient VRF heating and cooling system.

The building’s lushly landscaped private terraces will average 193 square feet, with the largest totaling nearly 1,000 square feet. In addition to enjoying a quick-heating electric grill on their terrace, residents in select homes will also have private firepits.

Sweeping views will be available on the building’s common rooftop sky deck where a range of health and wellness amenities will await residents, including: a heated, glass-enclosed lap pool with retractable glass walls that open onto the sundeck; complimentary pool towel service; a spa and sauna; barbecues; firepits and lounge areas; a party room with chef’s kitchen; residents’ club; two game rooms; and three distinct outdoor terraces, including the sundeck, garden lounge and dining area, designed for year-round use.

Indoor amenities will include a fitness center with cardio and strength-training equipment, including free weights and complimentary towel service; yoga room; Pilates studio and massage room; dual basketball/pickleball court; golf simulator and sports lounge with large screen TVs; children’s play area; pet park and spa; library lounge; and multiple work-from-home spaces, including conference rooms and a business center. Wi-Fi will run throughout amenity spaces and residents can choose from multiple data providers. Fitness programming will include yoga and meditation, Pilates, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes, water aerobics and personal training.


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