Vertical Integration: The Optima Business Model

Reflecting back to 1978, one of the first pillars of the Optima promise was a dedication to a multidisciplinary approach. David Hovey Sr, then new to the architecture world, wanted to escape from the corporate red tape that surrounded a traditional architect-developer relationship. Oftentimes, he observed that bankers and corporations were given more power over specific projects and the integrity of the building was overlooked. His vision was that architecture would lead the process, and the first iteration of the Optima Business Model was born. 

Optima Biltmore Towers viewed from the courtyard, with each tower looming in the sky above

Our process is a vertical one; we oversee architecture, development, general contracting, sales brokerage, property management and support. Because we’ve built an integrated process and are involved with every step, we welcome potential challenges and take pride in seeing our projects through from start to finish. Our model gives us a distinct advantage over others in the industry, and allows us to have a flexible and fluid project timeline. 

From project inception to construction, we’re constantly working on ways to improve and adapt. During the construction of Optima Signature, our architectural team implemented strategies to improve efficiency, including condensing the coordination of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems, and producing documents on-site, reducing the process from days to hours. Originally scheduled for completion in February 2018, our vertical integration methods allowed the building to be completed in June 2017.

Even once a building is finished, we continue to be involved with and invested in our projects. We manage most of our multi-family properties, ensuring everything from amenities to retail spaces enrich the lives of their respective communities. Our intention is always to create a positive, lasting impact on our tenants, communities and environments, and our vertical integration model allows us to pursue that desire more fully. 


The Optima Story: Over 40 Years of Passion

As a family-owned and operated business, we’re proud of our roots and our history. Since 1978, we’ve produced internationally-recognized, award-winning residential mixed-use developments and single-family homes. To understand our growth and progress, we fondly look back on our years in business and the Optima story. 



A Modernist Beginning

Optima’s began when David Hovey Sr., our Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, was a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology. His mentor and teacher, Arthur Takeuchi, suggested the idea of forming his own business to bypass the red tape of traditional development. David Sr. wanted a process in which architecture was the center, while still retaining control over the ownership and development aspects of the process. And so, Optima was born. 



Family Ties

As David Sr. began executing his early vision for Optima, Eileen Hovey, fellow Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, took her entrepreneurial spirit and charged ahead with marketing and sales. The two forged a unique path of architecture and development working in unison, which would eventually lead to the Optima Business Model. Over time, they were joined by David Hovey Jr. and Tara Hovey, who shared their passion for real estate, architecture and innovating for the future. David Hovey Jr. also introduced Optima DCHGlobal, a patented architectural system that further pushed Optima’s work in prefabricated housing towards the forefront of the industry. 



Optima’s Future

At Optima, our past is critical to our future, keeping us grounded while inspiring us to move and progress forward. Even decades after our start, our values haven’t changed; we still believe in being bold, perfecting our process, learning from each experience, and creating spaces that improve the quality of life within our communities. From a two-person team to our dynamic, talented staff today, Optima continues to grow and thrive. 

For a more in-depth perspective on the Optima history from the Hovey family, check out Our Story.

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Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL

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