Community Growth and the Importance of Retail Space

At Optima, we don’t just construct buildings, we create communities. At every step of our process, from selecting location, to construction, to leasing and renting out our retail space, we make decisions leveraging what we can provide to enhance our residents’ lives and the lives of the people in the surrounding neighborhood. 

At Optima Signature in Chicago, our retail tenants include Egg Harbor Cafe, Guidepost Montessori School, RUNAWAY Fitness, Bedazzled Nails and GoodVets. These amenities enhance the lives of our residents and neighbors, creating onsite amenities and vibrant gathering places that encourage connection and socialization. Not only are our retail tenants adding to Optima Signature, but they contribute to the greater Streeterville community Egg Harbor is a beloved breakfast staple in the Chicago suburbs, and their Optima Signature location will be their debut in downtown Chicago. And Guidepost Montessori School was the first of its kind for the neighborhood.

At Optima Sonoran Village in Scottsdale, one of our retail tenants, Kaleidoscope Juice, has become a place where people can meet old and new friends over a meal, juice or coffee throughout the day. Residents might meet someone in the gym at Optima Sonoran Village and decide to reconvene on their patio — having the retail space to gather deepens connections within the community, allowing residents to get to know their neighbors. 

When selecting our tenants, it’s vital to our mission that the retail we bring to our communities is additive, contributing new spaces for our residents to use and bringing much needed and desired resources to the neighborhoods we call home.


Location, Location, Location

Ask any real estate broker what the three most important things to consider when renting or buying a home are and they’ll say location, location, location. According to The New York Times, the phrase location, location, location has been in use since at least 1926 — that means that for nearly a century, this is one thing in real estate that hasn’t changed.

Here at Optima, location has always been an integral part of our development process. As the owner, architect, developer and general contractor of our own communities, we see location in a multifaceted way.

Location as Sustainability

As developers, when we seek out land for a new property, we view our search from a responsible, sustainable approach. We prioritize infill developments so that we effectively utilize the land as well as prioritizing valuable open green space. Our very first project in 1978 was urban renewal land in Hyde Park at S Kenwood Ave and E 54th St, and since then we’ve carried on that pattern. 

Location as Design Sensibility

As architects, our practice and design are informed by the context of a new development. We are mindful of the existing architecture in an area, considering both how our building will stand out against the rest while also considering how our new addition will complement its surroundings. With Optima Signature in Streeterville, our sleek, Modernist skyscraper stands out amongst the historical beauties that surround it, creating a juxtaposition that adds complexity and intrigue to the skyline. 

The Nature of Location

As we continue to redefine our roots in modernism, it’s also important to celebrate the fundamental connection between design and nature. Our communities merge indoor and outdoor into a single, holistic experience. Whether in the desert of Arizona or the grid of Chicago, it’s critical to us that our communities are informed by and embrace the nature of the surrounding area. When building desert residence Shadow Caster, we integrated the design of the home with the sloping of the land, creating a bridge feature and courtyard that holistically connect the indoor and outdoor experience of the residence.

Location as an Amenity

As owners, we know what people look for in their community. We also select locations for our properties based on the amenities of the surrounding area. We believe that the homes we build extend beyond their own doors — for our residents, their neighborhood is a large part of their living experience, from the view outside their window, to the transportation they take to work, to the restaurants, bars and shops that they frequent in the area. It’s all vital to the way that we build not just homes, but communities. At 7160 and 7180 Optima Kierland, the Scottsdale location is ripe with amenities. The multi-phase Optima Kierland project is located within steps of Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons, two of the best entertainment areas in all of Scottsdale.

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Glencoe, IL

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