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Pickleball 101

With lifestyle integral to condominium and apartment living, at Optima we love to amp up our amenities to the next level. We’re always on the lookout for cutting edge trends and amenities that will cater to our residents’ lifestyles and interests. So when we noticed the increasing popularity of pickleball in the southwest, we happily adapted to incorporate an indoor pickleball court at our latest project, 7180 Optima Kierland. For those that aren’t familiar with the sport, here’s a little pickleball 101:

Pickleball 101

Visually, pickleball appears quite similar to tennis. Played on a badminton-sized court with a modified tennis net, the sport is a combination of many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. Players use a paddle and a plastic ball with holes, and can choose to play as singles or doubles. Originally, pickleball paddles were made with wood, but have evolved as the sport has gained popularity to be made primarily of lightweight composite materials such as aluminum and graphite. As for the holey ball, holes number 26-40 and the ball can come in a variety of colors but must be solid to meet official international specifications.

Playing Pickleball

In gameplay, the ball is served with an underarm stroke below waist level in an upward arc aimed diagonally. Initially, only the serving side may score a point. A point is earned when one side commits an infringement of the rules, or a fault. Faults include not hitting in the opponent’s diagonal court, not hitting beyond the net, not hitting the ball before the second bounce, hitting the ball out of bounds, among others. Serving alternates players, and points can be scored equally throughout the remainder of gameplay. Watch a full video tutorial on playing pickleball here.

A Brief History of Pickleball

Why call it pickleball? It goes without saying that no pickles are actually involved in the sport. Originating in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, pickleball was the DIY invention of three dads attempting to reinvigorate summertime activities but lacking in proper supplies. The three dads, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, claim two separate origin stories for the sport’s name. According to Pritchard’s wife, it was named after pickleboats. According to McCallum, the Pirchards had a dog named Pickles, who would chase after the ball, and served as inspiration for the new game’s name. 

Pickleball is truly a sport for everyone, and we hope to cultivate new pickleball fanatics in our communities with the unique amenity.

Working From Home at Optima

Achieving work-life balance has taken on new gravity as we shelter-in-place. At Optima, our teams are with you every step of the way to ensure you have a productive workday, and find daily fulfillment and joy in the comfort of your home. Here are just a few of the ways our properties are already optimized for people’s remote working needs:

Home office space at Optima Signature
Home office space at Optima Signature

Distinct Work Zones

One of the biggest challenges when working from home is achieving a healthy separation between work and life. At our multifamily communities, each home is designed to have space for a desk and at-home workspace. With the opportunity to have a dedicated work zone, you’ll be able to create an environment that is conducive to your daily success and that allows you to tackle any challenge. 

Home office space at Optima Sonoran Village
Home office space at Optima Sonoran Village

Connection to Nature

A shelter-in-place order doesn’t mean we have to separate ourselves entirely from the outdoors. It’s important to continue finding sensitive ways to get your daily dose of sunshine. With the integration of the built and natural environment integral to our design sensibilities, all of our communities feature vast outdoor spaces, with many homes offering significant outdoor living spaces. These outdoor spaces are the perfect place to take advantage of weather on a nice day like having an outdoor picnic on your balcony.

Engaging Digital Programming

Our property management teams are committed as ever to ensuring that our communities and residents stay connected — with one another and with their daily patterns. We’ve been hard at work putting together virtual event series and fitness classes that allow Optima residents to enjoy a full array of digital amenities from the comfort of their own home. Some of this programming includes digital patio workouts with a fitness trainer at Optima Sonoran Village, digital fitness classes with an onsite trainer at Optima Signature and even building-wide movie, trivia and comedy nights at Optima Kierland Apartments.

As we continue to shelter-in-place and practice social distancing, our buildings and our teams are ready to collaborate and come together to make being home even more enjoyable for our communities.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Optima Kierland Center

Architectural oasis Optima Kierland Center is the premier location for luxury living, located in North Scottsdale just steps away from all the action. The neighborhood itself is a vibrant urban core, where leisure and active living go hand-in-hand. Here are just a few of the best perks that come with living at Optima Kierland Center:

Abundant Upscale Shopping & Dining

Just next door to Optima Kierland Center and situated in the exclusive North Scottsdale Corridor, find your one-stop destination for shopping, dining and leisure. Kierland Commons is a sophisticated and, Scottsdale Quarter, an intimate outdoor shopping center that includes dining and drinking with Dominick’s Steakhouse and Sorso Wine Room, alongside an abundance of upscale shopping that includes Marine Layer, Vineyard Vines, West Elm and more.

World’s Finest Golf Destinations

Optima Kierland Center is surrounded by some of the world’s finest golf destinations. The area is marked by greens heralded as must-play locales for lovers of the sport, with The Westin Kierland Golf Club just around the corner. This ultra-luxury resort course offers a first-rate golf experience sure to please novices and experts alike. Also nearby is TPC Scottsdale, which hosts the annual Waste Management Open, also known as “The Greatest Show on Grass.”

The rooftop pool at 7180 Optima Kierland.
The rooftop pool at 7180 Optima Kierland.

A Premier Active Living Hotspot

Optima Kierland Center features four towers with stunning, uninterrupted 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Magnificent mountain views offer a sneak-peek at the array of outdoor activities awaiting residents. The community is surrounded by hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as numerous nature parks. On days when you don’t want to venture out, Optima Kierland’s own set of exclusive amenities serve to further enhance personal well-being. Each building features an impressive array of luxury spaces, including rooftop pools, spas and saunas, outdoor entertaining areas, sculpture gardens, pet areas, outdoor running tracks, yoga studios, basketball courts, coworking areas and more.  

As we continue to expand in Arizona, we look forward to discovering more in our favorite places, and learning about new communities, too. Stay tuned for more neighborhood spotlights on our other Optima communities.

Rooftop Amenities at Optima

Across all of our projects and properties, we believe amenities are essential to building wellness-focused, holistic spaces. From our single-family homes to our multi-family residences, we carefully curate our outdoor and indoor amenities to reflect these values. One of our favorite applications is utilizing our rooftop areas, particularly in our multi-family residences. Although rooftop gardens and green spaces have existed since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, new technologies have allowed us to expand into sophisticated, expansive systems of features. Optima began using green roofs in Chicago back in the early 1980s, and have evolved our practice to include both green space and amenities throughout our properties in Arizona and Illinois. 

The rooftop views from Optima Sonoran Village.
The rooftop views from Optima Sonoran Village.

One of our favorite aspects of moving out to Arizona was creating outdoor spaces that celebrated and embraced the desert atmosphere. Our Arizona rooftop amenities include heated pools, built-in seating areas, spas,cold plunges, rooftop running tracks, outdoor yoga studios, entertaining spaces with barbecues and fire pits, and of course, panoramic mountain views. At Optima Sonoran Village in particular, we maximized the small footprint of the building to offer incredible views of Camelback mountain and to create socializing space for residents. 

With state-of-the-art features and unparalleled views of the surrounding environments, our rooftop spaces across our Arizona projects create the perfect backdrop for time spent outside with loved ones. 

The rooftop at Optima Chicago Center.
The rooftop at Optima Chicago Center.

Despite the cold Chicago winters, our projects within the city still take advantage of their rooftop space for dynamic city views and amenities for our residents to enjoy. With outdoor heated swimming pools, cabanas and bars, outdoor saunas and steam rooms, outdoor terraces, fire pits, herb gardens, dog parks and outdoor children’s play areas, both Optima Chicago Center and Optima Signature feature plenty of enticing areas and activities. 

Our building amenities are an integral step in our process of creating functional, beautiful and welcoming spaces, and in utilizing our rooftops, we extend our creativity into designing desirable, innovative outdoor space.

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Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL





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