Giving voice to your brand


Optima, Inc. Returns To Chicago’s North Shore, Receives Approval For 109-Unit Mixed-Use Building In Downtown Wilmette

December 18, 2020

Optima, Inc., a design-driven real estate development firm, today announced the village of Wilmette on Chicago’s North Shore gave final approval to its plans for a mixed-use development of 109 luxury apartments and street-level retail at 1210 Central Ave. Optima plans to break ground in late 2021 at the site, which is currently occupied by a bank and located across the street from the Metra commuter train station at Green Bay Road.

“Thanks to the support and shared vision of Wilmette’s leaders, we’re excited to be back in the North Shore developing our newest project,” said David C. Hovey Sr., FAIA, CEO of Optima, Inc. In 2010, the firm completed the bold and stunning 660-unit Optima Old Orchard Woods condominium development in nearby Skokie that overlooks the Harms Woods Forest Preserve and Interstate 94, one of the firm’s 20 North Shore projects.

The final approval of the Wilmette building comes on the heels of Optima starting construction on Optima Lakeview, its new mixed-use, transit-oriented development of 198 apartments and street-level retail at 3460 N. Broadway in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, which is scheduled to be completed in 2022. Founded in Chicago, with offices in suburban Glencoe, Optima is renowned for its cutting-edge and award-winning residential buildings in the Chicago and Phoenix/Scottsdale areas that have earned national and international recognition.

“As with each project we design and build, we’re very careful to ensure the buildings respect their environment and have a positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood,” said Hovey. “This development will be no different, as not only will it deliver the size of homes and amenities residents in Wilmette want, but the exterior design will feature our signature vertical landscaping system and public art component that will enhance the downtown community’s energy and aesthetic.”

Designed by Hovey, the new Wilmette development will feature 109 luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom rental units and more than 8,000 square feet of commercial space at street level, along with 28 parking spaces available for public use. Select units will have large, private terraces. Building residents will have access to a rooftop sky deck and pool, residential courtyard, a suite of amenities and 173 parking spaces, including some electric vehicle charging stations. Floors one through three will use bird friendly glass.

As an added neighborhood amenity, David Hovey Sr. will be designing an original 8-foot-tall sculpture near the building’s entry as a public art piece. Optima will also be installing benches near the sculpture for passers-by to enjoy the space.

The development also will feature Optima’s innovative vertical landscaping system that it has perfected at its Arizona communities. The Wilmette system will include self-containing irrigation and drainage and be complemented with hand-selected plants that will stay green year-round – even during the most extreme weather conditions.

“While we’ve long included green and sustainable features at our Chicago-area developments, the Wilmette project will introduce Optima’s signature vertical landscaping to the region,” Hovey said. “We’ve identified some very special plants that will thrive in this environment.”

In addition, Optima is committed to earning Green Globes Certification for sustainable construction practices for the building, which is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

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 was named a Crain’s Best Places to Work as well as one of America’s top businesses in the Midwest by Inc. magazine. Learn more at Optima.Inc.


Optima, Inc. has announced a new mixed-use community of 109 luxury apartments and retail planned for Wilmette in Chicago’s North Shore. The village board recently gave final approval to the plans.