Giving Back: Cleaning Up Skokie Lagoons

As part of our commitment to the built and natural environments, our team regularly organizes outings that give back to the community. Not only do these opportunities allow us to create meaningful impact, but they serve as team-building and bonding exercises, as well. Most recently, we took a trip out to local Skokie Lagoons to help keep the area clean. 

Skokie Lagoons are just a short drive from our Glencoe office. An 894-acre destination, the lagoons are the premier spot for both people and wildlife, offering critical natural habitats and the chance for visitors to appreciate the outdoors through canoe and kayak rentals, biking and hiking trails and picnic areas.

The Optima team at Skokie Lagoons

To help restore the area with healthy woodland, savanna and prairie habitats, Skokie Lagoons relies upon volunteers to regularly remove invasive plants such as buckthorn, garlic mustard and Canada thistle.

Cleaning up Skokie Lagoons

Working with the Cook County Forest Preserve, our team joined the Shedd Aquarium for a Great Lakes Action Day to help restore the local habitat and encourage amphibians and other wildlife to thrive. We cut and burned the thick and concentrated invasive buckhorn brush to make room for native flora and fauna.

To learn more about the Skokie Lagoons and how you can support wildlife restoration, visit their website.

2019: A Year in Review

As 2019 comes to a close, we reflectively look back on all that’s happened throughout a busy and exciting year. Our team, projects and Optima as a whole have experienced tremendous growth over the last twelve months. Here are just a few of the highlights:


Our team was honored to win five awards, including AIA Chicago Divine Detail award for Optima Sonoran Village, Architecture MasterPrize and Architizer A+ Finalist Award for Arizona Courtyard House, American Architecture Award for Whale Bay House and Build Magazine’s Luxury Urban Housing Designer of the Year. 

Projects and Properties

This was a big year for development, construction, leasing and more. 

In Arizona, we completed construction and leased up Optima Sonoran Village Phase III, the fifth and final tower at Optima Sonoran Village. 7120 Optima Kierland sold out – and was the fastest selling community in the Valley. We launched sales at 7180 Optima Kierland and are already over 50% sold. We also began construction on both 7140 and 7180 Optima Kierland, both slated for completion in 2020. We also purchased new land in Scottsdale to develop new Optima communities.

In Illinois, we leased up 100% of our commercial and retail space at Optima Signature including business suites. We also purchased new land in Chicago and the North Shore for new developments.

We also launched Optimized ServiceTM, a next-level white-glove approach to our concierge experience.

The Optima team volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.
The Optima team volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.


Working across our entire organization, we formalized our purpose statement and core values to reflect our growth and inspire our path forward. We volunteered: we spent the day with Habitat for Humanity in both AZ and IL, cleaned up the Skokie Lagoons in IL, and worked with animals at Amy’s Farm Sanctuary in AZ. We had fun: we enjoyed axe throwing, bowling, go karting, beaches, barbeques, concerts and high tea. We also learned: our team attended the Metropolitan Planning Council lunch, the TCN Women in the Forefront Luncheon, the Goldie Gala, the Chicago Build Expo and NAA Apartmentalize. 

We can’t thank our leadership, team members and supporters enough for such a fantastic year. As we look towards 2020, we look forward to the new year to come, new milestones to pass and new ways to innovate across our upcoming projects. 

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Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL

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