Site work underway at Optima’s 200 East Illinois apartments

A week ago Crain’s reported that Optima had secured financing for and was getting ready to break ground on a 42-story, 325-unit Streeterville apartment tower at the northeast corner of St Clair and Illinois.

I stopped by the site earlier today to check whether site prep work had begun. It had.

A small crew was excavating and, it appeared, locating a utility line.

Illinois St is decked at this point, with both an upper and lower level. The tower lobby and a parking entrance will be on Upper Illinois, a short block east of Michigan Ave. The above shot looks east along Upper Illinois, just east of St Clair.

The view to the west shows the new Ronald McDonald House, right foreground, which will impede north views from the new tower’s lower 14 stories.

The best views from the new tower are likely to be to the south – unless there’s new development on the parking lot immediately south that’s currently used by Tribune employees.


  • Ron 7 years

    Wow, that was fast! I checked the site either last weekend or earlier this week and there weren’t any signs of construction being eminent.

  • Ron,

    I didn’t stop to talk to the construction workers or contact Optima, as I should have.

    It’s possible that what I saw and photographed was work relating to utilities for the Ronald McDonald House rather than site prep for the Optima building. My headline may be a misstatement.

  • Joe,

    I don’t think your headline was a misstatement. I think you were just 2 days earlier than the Tribune reporter.

    If memory serves me, didn’t Hovey pay $20 Mil for the lot?

  • Francesca,

    That Trib item is one of its news release compilations. The writer may simply have picked up on what I wrote.

    Optima bought the site from Centrum for $20M, according to Crain’s.