Optima pursues second rental project in downtown Wilmette

Would feature 150 units, with a design matching Optima Verdana next door

Optima Pursues Second Downtown Wilmette Rental Project
Optima's David Hovey Sr. and Eileen Sheehan Hovey with a rendering of Optima Verdana (Optima)

Optima Communities is embarking on a 150-unit residential development in downtown Wilmette that’s nearly identical to the one next door.

Contingent upon Wilmette officials approving the development, the Glencoe-based firm will acquire the property at 721-739 Green Bay Road, formerly known as the Imperial Motors site, the North Shore Record reported.

The project, called Optima Verdana Phase 2, would feature 150 apartments, with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. It would also include commercial space on the ground floor. A Starbucks that currently operates at the site will likely remain as a tenant. Rental rates will range from nearly $3,000 to $12,000 per month.

Rising six stories and apexing at 62 feet, the design of the building shows a striking resemblance to Optima Verdana Phase 1, which was completed earlier this year. The main difference between the two buildings is that the top floors for the new building will be set back from the sidewalk “to create a tapering effect that aesthetically concludes the combined forms with a rhythmic, logical ending,” the project overview said, according to the outlet.

There was an open house at the Wilmette Public Library last night, allowing residents to engage in discussions regarding the development. Optima hasn’t officially submitted its proposal, said Wilmette village manager Mike Braiman. The developer could present its formal plans to officials by November at the earliest.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“This type of redevelopment of that site is consistent with the goals of our village center master plan, and it would be the most reasonable proposal we’ve seen to date (for that site),” Braiman told the outlet. “That said, there are going to be a lot of questions from the plan commission and village board, feedback from neighbors and the community at large.”

Rental rates for the first Optima Verdana are in the same range as the targets for the second. There are amenities such as a pickleball court, basketball court, golf simulator, yoga studio, fitness center, business center and dog park. 

As part of an agreement with Wilmette, Optima paid $1.6 million to the village to support affordable housing initiatives when undertaking the first project.

— Quinn Donoghue

Correction: The spelling of the project name Optima Verdana has been updated in this story.

Read more

WS Development’s Jeremy Sclar with the Plaza del Lago (Bates, WS Development)
Jeremy Sclar scores $46M loan for Wilmette retail revival
Get thee to a condo: Unit in former Wilmette convent to hit market soon
Get thee to a condo: Unit in former Wilmette convent to hit market soon
East Coast developer buys Edens Plaza mall for $110M
Recommended For You