A massive residential development in Wilmette is nearly move-in ready.
Construction is in the final phases at Optima Verdana, a six-story, 100-unit apartment building at 1210 Central Ave. — corner of Central Avenue and Green Bay Road — and residents will begin moving in in July, according to Ali Burnham, Optima Inc.’s marketing director.
Optima Verdana is Wilmette’s tallest residential building west of Sheridan Road, and of its 100 units, 46 are two-bedroom, 31 are three-bedroom and 23 are one-bedroom apartments.
They range from 660 (1-bed) to 2,790 square feet (3-bedroom) at $2,956 to more than $12,000 (2 penthouse units, already rented) per month. Multiple variations of apartments are available within each bedroom level. Burnham said that a third of the units are already leased, leaving 77 available to prospective renters beginning on May 17.
As a condition of the project’s approval, Optima Inc. agreed to pay the Village of Wilmette $1.6 million to support affordable-housing initiatives villagewide — a payment that was executed in the fall of 2021. The funds, according to previous Record reporting, were granted to Community Partners for Affordable Housing, which believes it can turn the support into at least 15 affordable units.
Other stipulations for approval, which occurred in October 2020, included Optima’s funding of certain streetscape improvements, and its inclusion of a public plaza and public parking on site of Optima Verdana. Burnham said 29 public spaces are available near the entrance of the development’s parking garage, which also features two levels of underground tenant parking.
The building features a signature glass exterior — which uses bird-friendly, patterned glass — that will be complemented with vertical greenery as evergreen plants such as boxwoods, junipers, winter creepers and more grow into place.
Inside, Optima Verdana’s first floor includes a host of resident amenities, such as a pickleball/basketball court, golf simulator, yoga studio, fitness center, business center, dog park, and interior and exterior lounges. A skydeck — top-floor pool, spa, bocce court, herb garden and more — will be open by August, Burnham said.
Most in-unit amenities, from stoves to outdoor grills, at Optima Verdana run on electricity. The outdoor firepit available in many units is the only gas appliance, she said.
Burnham said first-floor units will be ready for residents in July, and move-in access on subsequent floors will be available in three-week increments.
“We are very excited to open Optima Verdana this week,” said David Hovey Jr., Optima Inc.’s president, in a statement. “… We appreciate the positive feedback we already are receiving from members of the community about Optima Verdana’s design. We thank the Village trustees and staff for their vision and collaboration to bring this project to fruition.”
Optima Inc. boasts three residential complexes in Chicago and another five in Arizona, and also developed projects in Highland Park, Evanston and Skokie.
The Wilmette development also has 8,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space, which Burnham said will be occupied by one or two businesses. She said Optima is seeking a “destination restaurant” or small-item market, a strategy that aligns with the Village of Wilmette’s for the Village Center district.
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