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Montessori School Doubling Space, Adding Elementary Classes at Optima Signature Rental Tower in Chicago’s Streeterville Neighborhood

April 24, 2020

The Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile school is more than doubling in size to accommodate the addition of an elementary school at Optima Signature, a mixed-use development at 220 E. Illinois St. in the heart of Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Optima, Inc., developer of the building, announced the school will lease an additional 14,000 square feet – the building’s last available retail space – with plans to open this fall to serve first through fifth grades.

“Since the school’s opening just over a year ago, many of the families living at Optima Signature – or who live or work in the surrounding neighborhood – have embraced the school’s convenience factor and its quality Montessori early childhood education program,” said David Hovey Sr., CEO of Optima, Inc. “Whether you want to grab breakfast or lunch, take your pet in for a check-up, or you’re in need of an elementary school, the retail line-up at Optima Signature is dynamic and truly fills a niche in the growing Streeterville neighborhood to make the building a destination for people in the area.”

This is the property’s second commercial leasing announcement in as many months, demonstrating the high demand for Optima Signature’s location just off Michigan Avenue. Last month, Optima, Inc. announced it had leased all 22 furnished office suites at Optima Signature. In addition to Guidepost Montessori, retail tenants include Egg Harbor Café, a restaurant specializing in breakfast, brunch and lunch; GoodVets Streeterville, a full-service veterinarian redefining pet care; RUNAWAY fitness, a run conditioning fitness studio; and Bedazzled Nails & Spa.

Currently, Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile serves about 100 toddlers and preschoolers – ranging in age from 14 months to 6 years old – with two other sister locations in the West Loop and Wicker Park that provide high-fidelity Montessori programming for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Mag Mile’s elementary expansion will serve children from these sister campuses as well as interested families who are new to the Guidepost network.

“We are so excited to elevate the establishment of education for our families by growing alongside Chicago’s clear desire for high-quality Montessori education, which doesn’t abruptly end at kindergarten, but truly grows with the child,” said Sarah Silverman, Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile head of school. “Expanding into elementary allows us to take that next step with families, when children enter a powerful shift in how they learn from the ‘absorbent mind’ to the ‘conscious mind’.”

The elementary expansion will allow for two new mixed-age learning environments at the campus, with the capacity to serve 48 more families. The Montessori elementary program will provide dual language in English and Spanish. Students will not be required to have prior Spanish experience, and families can opt into the Spanish offering.

When Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile opened in 2018, Optima Signature residents Steven DeLuca and his wife jumped at the chance to enroll their older son, 4, in the school’s Children’s House. The DeLuca’s second son, 2, also recently started in the Montessori Toddler Room at the school.

“Optima Signature strikes the perfect work-life balance for us, and Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile has become like our extended family,” said Steven DeLuca. “Having access to a quality Montessori program for our children just downstairs from where we live takes convenience to a new level. Our older son is even enrolled in a Spanish immersion program at the school so he can learn to be fluent in a second language – something that was important to us.”

According to DeLuca, many of the families in DeLuca’s older son’s class also live at Optima Signature, so play dates are simple and easy to plan. And Optima Signature’s amenities, including indoor and outdoor children’s play areas and pools, allow for a variety of play date activities.

“One of the things that we take very seriously is being more than just a school, and being a community where we partner intentionally with parents on their child’s most-important journey,” added Silverman. “Even though our new elementary classrooms are in the final stages of renovations, we know that this time of year is crucial for elementary families in making those enrollment decisions. Between now and August, we will be offering personal tours, community events, Montessori webinars and other resources that can guide families in navigating these important decisions.”

Designed by award-winning architect David Hovey Sr., FAIA, and completed in 2017, Optima Signature is a 57-story, 490-unit Class A, LEED Certified luxury rental development featuring 1.5 acres of amenity space. Optima Signature’s amenities include: resort-style indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools; cabanas and bars; a cutting-edge fitness center with saunas, steam rooms and WELLBEATS™ virtual workout studio; resident lounge with coffee bar; basketball, squash and bocce ball courts; golf simulator and putting green; and outdoor terraces with lounge furnishings, fire pits and spas. Another floor has cardio and strength-training equipment, yoga studio, locker rooms with both steam and shower, indoor lap pool, and indoor children’s play area. Outdoor amenities include a 40-yard running track, dog park, children’s play area, whirlpool spa, cabanas, lounge seating, televisions, co-ed sauna and steam rooms, kitchen, grilling stations and dining areas.

For more information about Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile and to set up a tour, visit, or call (312) 796-9400. To follow campus events and join upcoming Montessori webinars, follow them on Facebook at Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile.

Visit Optima Signature or call (312) 548-8930 for more information on the residences in the building.

About Optima, Inc.:

Optima, Inc is a privately-held, design-driven real estate development firm with offices in Illinois and Arizona. For more than 40 years, Optima has been developing, designing, building, marketing and managing striking urban and suburban luxury residential communities. From the beginning, Optima aimed to reinvent housing by integrating the functions involved in new construction within one company. Optima controls and executes every aspect of the process in-house – development, design, construction, sales and management – for a dynamic system that offers greater focus and fluidity. Optima is committed to delivering extraordinary living through design, innovation, sustainability and management. The result has been the creation of over 40 communities in Arizona and Illinois, along with being nationally recognized with over 50 prestigious awards. In 2020, Optima, Inc. was named a Crain’s Best Places to Work. Learn more at Optima.Inc.

About Guidepost Montessori:

Guidepost Montessori is a mission-driven, global network of Montessori schools operated by Higher Ground Education where joyful, self‑directed discovery fosters a lifelong love of learning. Our high-quality Montessori programming – backed by MACTE-accredited teacher-training – runs from birth through middle school, guiding families continuously through the most foundational and transformative years of childhood education. With 47 schools worldwide, Guidepost Montessori is the world’s largest Montessori school system.


Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile school is expanding at Optima Signature in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood.