Streeterville’s Optima Signature Leases Space as Solution for Parents Working From Home
Necessity is the mother of innovation, and in this case, it’s finding a place to settle kids into remote school learning during the coronavirus pandemic when there’s not enough room at home.
Optima Signature found a way to lease unused space and solve the problem at the same time: turn business suites in the 57-story, multifamily Streeterville complex in Chicago into e-learning labs.
It creates a reprieve for dual-working parents with children at a time when the Chicago Public School system, among others, said all learning this fall will be done online. “It’s a place at home away from home,” said Ali Burnham, Optima’s marketing director at the 490-unit high-end tower.
Built in 2017 by Optima, based in suburban Glencoe, Illinois, the building at 220 E. Illinois St. stands out with its multistory, bright-red, glass exterior right above its base against a cluster of blue-glass buildings and concrete parking structures.
Besides the luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in the mixed-use tower, it also is home to Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile, the Streeterville outpost for toddlers to elementary-aged children with a Spanish immersion program.
The suites, which can be used for young elementary school-aged children as well as those in middle and high school, are pretty much already suited for e-learning with five to seven workstations, a minifridge, built-in cabinetry and outdoor space. And, of course, they’re cleaned professionally on a regular basis.
They all come with Wi-Fi and have access to the site’s 1.5 acres of amenities that include plenty of outdoor lounges, a basketball court, a pool and lots of running and playground space, Burnham said. What’s more, they’re open to nonresidents too.
“The workstations are perfectly set up already for middle school or high school students,” she said. “They just have to bring their things.” For younger children, there’s a 500-square-foot suite that includes a lot of open space that can be used for workstations, art projects, reading hubs and music.
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