Optima blends art and architecture in pristine wooded setting

Optima Old Orchard Woods

Motoring along the Edens Expressway is rarely a pleasant experience, but if a driver looks west at the appropriate time, the gleam and grace of Optima Old Orchard Woods undoubtedly will provide a few moments of aesthetic relief.

Strategically located at 9645 Woods Drive in Skokie, equidistant between four vibrant northern suburbs, this complex of three 20-story, glass-and-steel buildings is nestled between the Edens, the Harms Woods forest preserve, and Old Orchard and Golf roads.

Designed by its developer, David Hovey, the buildings – the Maple, the Oak, and most recently, the Elm – exude a multitude of forms and shapes, the result of Hovey’s ingenious blend of art and architecture and the minimalist style that he developed as a student of Mies Van Der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

“There is no doubt that the design of the project is one of its main attractions,” says Andy Zajac, vice president of sales and marketing for Optima. “Mr. Hovey has created a high-rise complex in the suburbs that has no competition. When you couple that with views that extend 25 miles to the west over the forest preserve and all the way to Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline to the east, you have an unbeatable combination.”

Each Optima tower features such common amenities as a two-story fitness center with a pool and spa and a two-story party room with catering kitchen. There is also an environmentally sensitive green-roof system and sky garden, a reflecting pool and fountain in a grand courtyard, and an exterior color scheme that is in harmony with the building’s natural surroundings. Heated indoor parking is also included with each unit.

Each residence has panoramic views of the city or the forest preserve. The homes are filled with natural light, the result of floor-to-ceiling windows. Units feature state-of-the-art baths and kitchens with stainless-steel appliances, gas ranges, granite counters, and designer cabinets. Window treatments and washers and dryers are included, and an optional gas fireplace is available.

All of these features make Optima Old Orchard Woods a true destination community, explains Zajac.

“What you have here is an urban complex in a suburban setting, yet you are just minutes away from first-class shopping at Old Orchard Shopping Center, a half-hour from the Loop via the expressway, and in a couple of years, the Skokie Swift will likely be extended to stop just two blocks way,” he says.

In June, 430 of the 665 units at Optima had sold. The buyers have represented a broad demographic spectrum, from first-time home owners to empty-nesters who are scaling down, and from single professionals to young married couples with children.

“The complex is beginning to evolve to the point where it is its own community,” says Zajac. “Social groups, fitness groups and others with similar interests are developing close associations now that they have been here for a while.”

Optima’s residences range from one to three bedrooms plus penthouses and vary in size from 700 square feet to over 3,000 square feet. One-bedroom units start in the $250s, two-bedroom units begin in the $310s, three-bedrooms are priced from the $460s, and penthouses range from $1 million to $1.7 million.

A sales center is located at the site and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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