No matter which Optima community you’re in, you’ll find yourself surrounded by art. Whether it’s Ellison Keomaka’sinspiring paintings found in several of our Arizona properties or the vibrant sculptures created by our CEO and Founder David Hovey Sr., FAIA, each piece of art in our communities brings with it not only a story — but a wide range of health benefits, too. Here are just a few of the benefits of living with art:
Keeps Your Mind Active
Similar to the feelings you get when you interact with a loved one, viewing art increases blood flow to the brain, kickstarting a wave of pleasure and positive memory-building while allowing the viewer to practice their cognitive skills. Whether looking at a landscape, portrait or an abstract work, because art is truly subjective, it allows the brain to explore different areas we may not use in daily life. This free-thinking stimulates the mind and strengthens it similar to the way learning a new language does.
Reduces Stress Levels
Art therapy is regularly used as a natural way to reduce anxiety and other mental disorders in everyone from children to older adults, and even if creating art isn’t your cup of tea, living with art provides the same benefits. Viewing art can calm the brain through the most trying circumstances by allowing it to focus on a singular thing. Worries and stressors are minimized as your mind directs its attention to the relaxing and often inspiring art pieces around you.
Encourages us to Emotionally Heal
Because artists use their work as a way to give shape to their ideas and emotions, living with art encourages us to explore our emotions and past experiences. By viewing art, it’s common to feel transformed and to be taken to places beyond our reality. This metamorphic experience improves well-being and, depending on the person, can be sensorially, emotionally and even spiritually mending.
Whether you need an inspiring escape, want to relive positive memories or simply crave a masterpiece of your own, the health benefits behind living with art are boundless and accessible by everyone.
Our latest development to break ground, Optima Lakeview, is a mixed-use building that’s bringing in-demand and exciting retail space to the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Combining residential and retail into one building (earning the name “mixed-use”) is a time-old way to reap benefits for both residents and businesses alike. So what exactly are those benefits?
Understanding Mixed-Use Buildings
For starters, let’s define what a mixed-use building is. A mixed-use building (MXD) is a building with three or more significantly-sized, revenue-producing businesses, whether those businesses are offices, retail stores, restaurants or other hospitality locales. The purpose of MXDs is to maximize the efficiency and value of a limited space, especially in urban areas, where space is in high demand.
In addition to the underway Optima Lakeview, many other Optima projects are also mixed-use buildings. Optima Signature, our luxury condo community in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, features retail tenants such as Bedazzled Nail Salon, GoodVets Veterinarian Office, Egg Harbor Cafe, Guidepost Montessori School, Runaway Fitness and an interior connection to the Whole Foods nextdoor.
Benefits of Retail Space
Introducing mixed-use buildings into a neighborhood means retail space is closer than ever to residential. For residents, this translates into a more pedestrian-friendly experience: their needs are accessible and within walking distance. For the environment, increased walkability also means less pollution from transportation. And for business-owners, their storefronts gain increased exposure as people stroll by, leading to increased sales and success. Overall, mixed-use buildings lead to a stronger sense of community and better quality of life for both residents and businesses.
At Optima, we make the most of our retail space by thoughtfully hand-selecting each business. Retail space in our residential buildings is yet another amenity that serves to enhance the lives not just of our own residents, but of the surrounding community, too.
We believe that building community extends beyond architecture and design. Community is a crucial component to how we design our properties — ensuring that residents and neighbors alike feel more connected through what we do. In support of this, we created the Optima Connect program, which encourages truly holistic community connections.
Optima Connect is a program that offers exclusive benefits and discounts at local businesses. Like our Optimized Service program, the goal of Optima Connect is to provide an added everyday convenience that brings ease, comfort and joy to our residents. The program also serves to bolster local businesses and ramp up support, creating a friendly community ecosystem.
Through Optima Connect at Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Kierland Apartments, residents can enjoy exclusive and luxury benefits such as BOGO tickets at Ballet Arizona, discounted fitness classes and up to 20% off at nearby restaurants — just to name a few. To peruse the full list of Optima Connect benefits available to Optima Sonoran Village residents, visit here.
Supporting community growth and connection amongst our residents and neighbors is something we care deeply about at Optima. As Jamie Springer, Regional Manager in Arizona, explains:
It’s really made us a stronger part of the community. It’s a dual partnership that gives discounts to our residents and helps promote local businesses. We seek Optima Connect partners for events — especially virtual events right now, like mixology and cooking classes — to introduce residents to nearby businesses. We want residents to feel connected to the community outside of our buildings and create a neighborhood feel with places they can walk to.
From the Optima Connect program, to the careful and thoughtful selection process that goes into choosing retail tenants at our properties, we know that our relationship to the spaces around us deepens our sense of belonging.