- Fully Furnished
- Access to Building Amenities
- Phone & Internet Service Included
- Only $900-$2000/month
Outdoor resort pools with fire pits, 24-hour fitness center with lap pools, spa, lushly landscaped courtyards with walk paths, and more.
Welcome to Optima Sonoran Village, a luxury apartment community in Scottsdale. Our highly desirable Old Town Scottsdale apartments are just minutes from fine dining, upscale shopping, and incredible entertainment. We’re also close to the extensive hiking and biking trails of Camelback Mountain.
Our community is a beautiful oasis, with splendid design details everywhere you look. Vertical landscaping drapes our outdoor spaces with lush greenery. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide unparalleled views of the city and mountains. Exquisite, private outdoor living areas invite you to bask in the warm Arizona sunshine.
Every day feels like a vacation at our modern apartments in Scottsdale. Come home after a long day and relax by our dazzling resort pools while enjoying complimentary towel service and comfortable lounge chairs. Spend Saturday mornings on the putting green and then bring your furry friend to our delightful community pet park. Fit your workout into your day whenever you have time at our 24-hour, state-of-the-art fitness center.
Optima Sonoran Village takes luxury living to an exciting new place. Call us to learn more about how you can start living your best life.
Where Indoor and
Our luxury Scottsdale apartments are available in a variety of incredibly designed floor plans. Whether you prefer a studio, one, two, or three bedroom apartment, you’ll find the perfect home for your lifestyle with open-concept layouts that showcase bright and spacious living areas.
The kitchen and living area provide an ideal space for entertaining guests. Stainless steel appliances and sleek granite countertops elevate the kitchen design. Floor-to-ceiling windows drench your home in sunlight while highlighting the cityscape and breathtaking mountain backdrop. Grab a book and enjoy the fresh air on your private balcony cloaked in lush greenery. Expansive bedrooms are a welcome respite at the end of the day, boasting walk-in closets and generous bathrooms.
Elegant color palettes, stylish flooring, and contemporary lighting are just a few of the design elements you can expect in our luxurious homes. Contact us today to schedule a virtual tour.
Our luxury apartment community offers residents a comprehensive, VIP lifestyle in Scottsdale. At Optima Sonoran Village, you’ll find numerous upscale amenities throughout our community that enhance your daily life.
Start your day with a stop at our complimentary coffee bar. You’ll get personalized service with a smile. If coffee isn’t your thing, try our Kaleidoscope juice bar instead. Our on-site hair salon will keep you looking your best and save more time in your busy day.
Our 24-hour fitness center is nothing short of incredible. The center is full of state-of-the-art machinery, including Life Fitness Signature Series strength equipment. Schedule sessions with a personal trainer or drop by the Pilates studio for a great workout. Keep your workout going in the lap pool or relax in the sauna or steam room.
Weekends are meant for relaxing and enjoying yourself. Visit the putting green for a fun personal challenge. Gather up a few friends and enjoy an afternoon by the gorgeous, resort-style pool. Let the stress of the work week melt away with a therapeutic massage at our luxurious spa.
Our approach to our residents is deeply personal and infused with hospitality; we want our residents to feel welcomed and cared for at every moment. Our programming and management are customized and curated to make everyday life extraordinary, and to ensure that our residents always feel right at home.
The Luxury of
Optimized Service® Optimized Service® includes white glove, in-home package delivery right inside your front door.
Onsite Massage Therapy Optima Sonoran Village has partnered with incredible massage therapists to provide massage to residents in our onsite massage room.
Fitness Programming Fitness programs including yoga and mindfulness, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes, kids creative movement and personal training are available to the residents of Optima Sonoran Village.
Optima Connect® Residents of Optima Sonoran Village can take advantage of exclusive discounts to area restaurants and retailers.
Complimentary Towel Service Complimentary towel service is provided in fitness center, locker rooms and poolside on the rooftop sky deck.
Curated Social Events & Clubs Our onsite team carefully curates social events and programs such as food trucks, music and cocktails, and parties. Organized resident clubs are as varied as book club, bike club and kids club.
24/7 Virtual Personal Assistant A 24/7 virtual personal assistant is available by phone, email or text to assist with an array of complimentary personalized services including reservations, travel, tickets, coordination and more.
Maintenance Services Our onsite team of maintenance professionals provides filter changes, light bulb replacement, and is available for any service request that comes up.
Moving Services Through the Optima Sonoran Village mobile app you can schedule with one of our preferred movers who will pack your belongings and move them into your new home at Optima Sonoran Village.
Take a closer look at the lifestyle that our Scottsdale luxury apartments for rent have to offer. Browse through our gallery to see both our beautiful apartment features and our inviting community amenities.
Desirable Scottsdale Location
Optima Sonoran Village has it all! Click below to get directions and see why you should live here!
Everything You Need
Is Within Reach.
Optima Sonoran Village is located on Camelback Road in the desirable Old Town neighborhood of Scottsdale. Everything you could need is right at your fingertips, including groceries, entertainment, upscale shops, and incredible eateries.
Spend a night on the town exploring Scottsdale’s hottest spots. Enjoy music and dancing all night long at The Mint or Maya Day and Nightclub. Rockbar Inc. is one of Scottsdale’s most popular rooftop bars, and the Rusty Spur Saloon is a great spot for those looking for more laid-back vibes.
Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers will enjoy hiking and biking at Camelback Mountain. Spend the morning hiking and then head downtown for some of the best eats in the area. Be sure to check out Olive & Ivy, Citizen Public House, and Culinary Dropout.
After you’ve filled up on delicious food, head over to Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall and shop until you drop. The mall is home to numerous favorites, including Apple, American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, Crate & Barrel, and Lululemon.
Office Spaces that Put
You in the Center of it All.
BUSINESS SUITES CONTACT
Contact the leasing office for more details & availability
Optima Sonoran Village is more than Scottsdale's premier luxury residence; it's also become an exceptional location for Valley professionals searching for an office or retail space. Finding office space available in Scottsdale doesn't have to be a difficult task, especially not when you consider the excellent array of unit options, price points, and amenities available at Optima Sonoran Village.
A Developer With an
For more than four decades, Optima® has been developing, designing and building some of the most striking urban and suburban luxury residential communities in the United States. Each Optima development is distinctive and customized to its physical location, with shared signature aesthetics including strong geometric shapes, inherently beautiful building materials and open, flexible floor plans. With award-winning architects David C. Hovey, FAIA and David Hovey Jr., AIA at the helm, Optima combines a deep understanding of how residents live with a desire to build the environment around their lifestyles — not to define them but to enhance them.
Optima Featured Developments
We know that you’re going to love the upscale lifestyle offered at Optima Sonoran Village. Every aspect of our luxury apartment community was designed to offer stunning beauty as well as conveniences that enhance everyday living.
We would love to show you around our community and give you a chance to get a closer look at what we offer our residents. Call us today to schedule a virtual or in-person tour.
Mon - Fri: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Sat: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Sun: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Keep up to date
with the latest.
Our luxury residences offer an incredible place to call home, but it’s our community as a whole that truly distinguishes Optima Sonoran Village as the best apartment community in Scottsdale. From the lush landscaping and serene surroundings to the unmatched selection of luxury amenities, Optima Sonoran Village will be the backdrop to the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. Learn more about Optima Sonoran Village, the local Scottsdale community, events, art, health and wellness, design and architecture, and luxury apartments on our blog.
"I've lived here for almost 3y - love my apartment location, the amenities, the staff (leasing, maintenance, security), the outdoor space, the recent upgrades post Covid. Neighbors are quiet and friendly, and I love that we are a huge pet community! I don't splurge on much, but I will always go the extra mile on where I live. I have loved calling Optima my home. All my friends and visitors are always impressed, and I love that I can walk to restaurants, bars, Shopping, etc. Bonus - I am a fitness professional and I absolutely love our gym!"
“Amazing "HOME" feel, and the ALL-GLASS living is so nice! Sense of community is fantastic, walk to the best restaurants and shopping, great staff! We have lived here for 7 years and love living here, super secure, easy living lifestyle.”
"Very quick and efficient to get things done when I ask. Every year gets better, and more improvements make it more enjoyable to stay another year! I only planned to stay a year when I first moved in and I am on year 4.5."
“Very nice place to live. Cathy and I have been truly happy with our choice to live at Optima Sonoran Village since moving to Scottsdale. Our recent need for maintenance was great. The appliance repair man Abijah is an excellent service tech, knows they equipment very well and has a nice personality. The landscape technician and supervisory are also great at their work and customer care.”
"Great management staff. They really go above and beyond. Specifically, Heather, she is the best. The community is amazing. Perfect location. Security also does a good job, Ed is great. The community is very safe."
"We are the longest tenants at the Optima. We absolutely love it here. [It] definitely feels like a community. We take advantage of all the community has to offer. Love the book club, and water aerobics. Office staff is wonderful, as is the maintenance staff."
"I love living here. Everyone is so nice. The place is very clean and kept up well. The staff is friendly, and the maintenance crew is excellent. I also love the app makes things so easy. It's very close to great restaurants, the mall, and bars. It's walking distance. It's close to the canal where you can run or jog or even ride your bike. Neighborhood is safe. And the amenities are amazing."
"Good facility and well located. People are cool. Jacuzzi at top floor is great, good parking and pools. Very close to downtown Scottsdale. Many nice dogs. Excellent work out facilities. Has good vibe all the time."
“Optima Sonoran Village is a great place to live. Michael the manager is terrific and the amenities with the pools, pool tables, ping pong tables, club house, racquetball court and basketball court it's a fun place to live. Good friendly neighbors too.”
“Absolutely amazing place to live. It is perfect; from the staff to the amenities and everything else. Maintained and built incredibly, the walls are so thick you can’t hear anything, and the basketball court is worth every penny itself!”
“Very nice location and clean. Location is excellent and close to Old Town. Parking is wonderful and very quiet. Security is excellent and maintenance staff is really good. Apartments are new and well maintained.”
“Great apartment, wonderful layout and design, fantastic amenities, [and] an excellent leasing and administrative staff. Good events arranged for residents - not just during holidays but several each month. The roof top amenities for building 6815 are a big plus.”
“Management is amazing. Truly professional, intelligent, and genuinely nice people. Amenities are world class. Great community. Neighbors are very friendly. The security team does a great job making the community safe.”
“Perfect place to live. Leasing office, security guards and the maintenance crew [are] five star[s]. Optima is a gorgeous community, and all of the amenities are so convenient, well maintained and everyone is so friendly.”
For those who are always on the hunt for vestiges of mid-century modernism, you’ll have some happy surprises right in Optima®’s own backyard — in Scottsdale. Here you’ll discover a history that is rich in architectural heft, including wholly-intact examples from the city’s 1950s community, where some of the finest mid-century modern structures remain.
Striking examples of mid-century modernity can be seen in Scottsdale’s commercial buildings scattered across the city, alongside several repurposed pubs and restaurants. Architectural gems can also be found in older neighborhoods. Especially those that were built by Ralph Haver. A local architect who utilized walls of glass, low-pitched roofs, and angled porch posts all packaged within a modestly-sized home.
And don’t miss another example of impeccably-renovated mid-century vernacular in the sleek Hotel Valley Ho. The hotel boasts façades of glass and concrete panels that express arrowhead motifs. Opened in 1956, it was largely a getaway for a number of Hollywood stars. Zsa Zsa Gabor rode horses there. Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner had their wedding reception in the hotel ballroom. And Jimmy Durante used to play piano late at night in the lobby.
The Arizona Biltmore, a 39-acre resort not far down the road, is another example of the city’s architectural history. The Biltmore is often identified as a Frank Lloyd Wright building, but it was actually designed in collaboration with Albert Chase McArthur, a protege of the great master.
The Biltmore has the dramatic presence of a large-scale Wright building, and is one of only 13 structures that Wright designed and in the area. His students, on the other hand, were involved with many others. For Wright acolytes, any visit to the Phoenix area begins with his winter residence and headquarters, Taliesin West. Now home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and located on the edge of the McDowell Mountains outside of Scottsdale. Which also happens to be where our most recent architectural development will be situated — Optima McDowell Mountain Village — Wright passed on his genius to an entire generation of eager architects such as Blaine Drake, Vern Swaback, and Heloise Crista.
No survey of mid-century modernist architecture is complete without the David and Gladys Wright House. David was one of Wright’s eight children, and the house the elder Wright designed for him was based on a rising spiral (also the design for New York’s Guggenheim Museum) while remaining imaginative and human in scale. The spiral lifts the living quarters above the treetops so that anyone in the house has access to carefully framed panoramic views of the mountains in the distance, and spaces that flow organically and wonderfully into one another.
It’s always a pleasure to connect our “Forever Modern” mantra at Optima® with the broad, deep mid-century modern legacy that lives on in the communities where we work and build!
Living in luxury apartments means balancing comfortable home space and access to luxurious amenities, such as beautiful spaces and concierge services.
One-bedroom luxury apartments have a perfect balance of exclusive personal space and access to a diversely luxurious lifestyle. Why cram your entire life inside your house if you don’t have to? From solo stars to professional couples, finding the perfect one-bedroom luxury apartment in Scottsdale, AZ, is a delightful experience at Optima Sonoran Village.
How many ways can you arrange a one-bedroom apartment floorplan? You’d be surprised. You will discover 14 luxury one-bedroom floor plans at Optima Sonoran Village because each lifestyle is perfected differently. Are you looking for an incredible master suite? The Cactus or the Fairview has great flow and space. Do you love to entertain guests with beautiful indoor-outdoor living designs? The Chaparral or Palomino are perfect. Need a private study? We’re ready for your work from home or pro-hobby dreams with the Drinkwater or Stetson and many more!
Discover the luxury apartment floor plan of your dreams with 14 unique arrangements to choose from at Optima Sonoran Village.
What makes a one-bedroom luxury apartment floor plan perfect is not just the apartment but how you surround yourself with luxe opportunities just a few steps outside your apartment door.
Optima Sonoran Village offers an incredible array of luxury lifestyle amenities, from the breathtaking 24-hour fitness center to onsite massage therapy. Some amazing amenities include:
You can live in the lap of luxury while also optimizing your personal space with the elegance of simplicity.
Optima Sonoran Village’s courtyard is a refreshing green garden oasis in our desert city. Every apartment has an outdoor living balcony, and every balcony is dripping with lovingly cultivated greenery.
From the fitness center to the clubhouse, every location features floor-to-ceiling windows to drink in the green courtyard and create a place of beauty you will be delighted to call home. Each luxury apartment floor plan includes an outdoor living space and floor-to-ceiling windows and shares a lavish courtyard with green views that are hard to find.
Even businesses can find a luxurious home at Optima Sonoran Village, with several available business suites for small retail, offices, and more. Each business suite is fully furnished with access to building amenities, desk spaces, and your choice of interior or street-facing suites. These luxurious suites are surprisingly affordable for a downtown Scottsdale address and will become part of the internal ambiance of the resident community.
Whether you are looking for an inner sanctum or the perfect place to host your closest friends, luxury apartment living is only a few steps away. Explore our incredible floor plans for luxury apartments, including cozy studios, personal one-bedroom designs, and beyond.
Contact us or apply today with Optima Sonoran Village to see your dream of a Scottsdale downtown luxury apartment surrounded by breathtaking amenities come true.
The evidence that electric and hybrid vehicles are gaining traction is on the roads everywhere. From personal vehicles to rideshares and public transport, we are, as a nation, beginning to embrace the importance of reducing carbon emissions by replacing the fossil fuels that traditional gasoline-powered engines use with forms of clean energy.
Encouraged by the funding made available to help states fund public charging infrastructure, and Illinois’ ambitious goal to get one million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2023, EVs are becoming increasingly desirable. And those who own and manage residential buildings are faced with the challenge to provide ample access to EV battery charging stations that residents need.
At Optima, we have always been sustainability-focused across our entire integrated business model — from design to building materials to landscaping – and EV parking. We began providing EV parking spaces in 2016 and 2017 at 7160 Optima Kierland and Optima Signature with 8 EV parking spaces, which represented only a small portion of the overall spaces in the garage.
Now in April 2023, Optima Verdana in Wilmette will open with 24% of the total spaces dedicated to EVs. In all of our communities — in both Illinois and Arizona — we have continued to increase EV capacity every year based upon resident demand, with the capacity to reach a full 100% at many projects. In recognition for our commitment to EV parking, Optima Sonoran Village won the Salt River Project Champions of Sustainability Award in the Building Communities for Electric Vehicles category.
In a recent Bisnow article that explores how future-facing multifamily developers are preparing for the future of electric vehicles, David Hovey Jr., AIA, Optima president and chief operating officer, observes, “Just from a sustainability perspective, obviously, demand is getting higher from both people wanting to be more sustainable … and cities wanting to be more sustainable, as well as just overall demand.”
Sustainability remains one of our most precious values at Optima. And we’re proud to be part of a growing community of property owners and managers that seeks to support sustainable practices on behalf of our residents.
Scottsdale may be considered the best golf destination in the world, but its variety of tourist attractions suggests that it has much more to offer than simply golf. Scottsdale is Arizona’s crown gem due to its specialized museums, high-end restaurants, and family-friendly attractions.
Scottsdale, situated adjacent to Phoenix in the center of the southwestern United States, appeals to all types of explorers. Whether interested in history, automobiles, nature, animals, or good old-fashioned adventure, everyone can find something they like in this city.
If you are searching for iconic and unique activities in Scottsdale, you’ve come to the right place. The following are our recommendations for the greatest and most entertaining things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona.
One of the best indoor nature tours in Scottsdale is the OdySea Aquarium. The largest aquarium in the Southwest takes you on a unique oceanic trip that is fascinating and instructive. The cutting-edge facility houses various creatures, including sharks, otters, sea lions, penguins, and sloths.
With unique experiences like SeaTREK underwater ocean walking, a large submerged escalator that descends into the deep sea, and the world’s only rotating aquarium exhibit, OdySea Voyager, OdySea Aquarium is one of your “must-see” activities in Scottsdale.
The desert settlement in eastern Maricopa County has been a powerhouse for the arts for a decade because of its close-knit artistic community. With its painter, potter, and printmaking collective, Cattle Track Arts Compound has long been a hub for creative souls. At the same time, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Wonderspaces attract a younger clientele.
However, Scottsdale’s creative scene extends far beyond its outstanding public art program and historic Arts District. It extends to one of its finest hotels, the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, which collaborated with Cattle Track on art direction and offers guest experiences such as artist meet-and-greets, tours, and seminars.
Scottsdale is home to some of the best outdoor settings in the Valley of the Sun. One of the most popular activities in Scottsdale is riding in hot air balloons over the magnificent Sonoran Desert scenery. Also, consider reserving a horse ride from MacDonald’s Ranch if you want to experience desert vegetation and wildlife from a unique viewpoint.
Several desert paths meandering through the mountains with rocky terrain and numerous switchbacks provide the ideal atmosphere for mountain bikers in Scottsdale. Hiking is another wonderful option to take in all of the beauty the Southwest has to offer. Pinnacle Peak Park is a prominent local feature and popular hiking destination.
An ATV ride is one of the best ways to explore the Arizona backcountry, allowing you to access more distant areas of the desert than on foot. Jeep trips in the Sonoran Desert are also a ton of fun; whether you embark on a full-day tour or a short morning excursion, you follow scenic routes and ascend remote, mountainous slopes.
Spring Training in Salt River Fields is a favorite destination for baseball fans. Plan ahead to watch a game while in town since tickets sell out rapidly. Salt River Fields is a Major League Baseball Park constructed near Scottsdale on Indian territory.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies worked with the Native American community to construct a complex highlighting the region’s cultural richness. You can view the McDowell Mountains, Camelback Mountain, and Four Peaks with unsurpassed splendor from this location.
If you are a golf enthusiast, you’ll be delighted with the variety of Scottsdale courses ideal for golfers of all skill levels and budgets. TPC Scottsdale and Troon North are regarded as some of the best courses in the country.
Troon North has two golf courses and was designed by Tom Weiskopf. Featuring undulating terrain, ravines, and beautiful views, these courses are a delight to play for golf enthusiasts. The Four Seasons Resort provides a complimentary shuttle service to Troon North; therefore, it is advisable to book a room there.
In addition, if you book a hotel at the resort, you’ll receive discounts on the golf course. Conversely, TPC Scottsdale is a golfer’s fantasy, where numerous professionals have competed. Like Troon North, it features two golf courses, The Champions and The Stadium.
Scottsdale has breathtaking scenery and spectacular sunsets, but did you know it is also one of the most progressive cities in terms of gambling? Scottsdale is a haven for those seeking to escape the crowds and has various gaming options, including slot machines, table games, and poker rooms with the state’s highest limits.
Utilize a portion of your winnings to experience the casinos’ inventive culinary selections and star-studded live performances. Whether you’re a beginner at blackjack or a seasoned master at poker, Casino Arizona is a great choice.
If you are a car enthusiast or a lover of all things automobile, you might want to buckle up for this one!
Throughout its rich 45-year history, the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company has become world-renowned for offering the finest, most prestigious selection of collector cars at auction, outstanding professional service, and capturing sales success second to none. Barrett-Jackson began as a modest company, started by Russ Jackson and Tom Barrett, two car aficionados in Scottsdale, AZ who met through a car advertisement in the mid-1960’s.
Tom Barrett wanted to sell his 1933 Cadillac V16 Town Car and the most interested buyer happened to be Russ Jackson. That deal was never struck between the two but instead, a lifelong friendship and partnership was formed.
In 1967, Russ Jackson and Tom Barrett hosted their first car auction, which was called “Fiesta de los Elegantes.” Fiesta de los Elegantes was held as a fundraiser to donate to local charities, which included the community arts and the Scottsdale Public Libraries.
Mercedes 770 Phaeton
In 1971, Russ and Tom presented the company’s first car collector auction, which featured classic autos from the two men’s private collections. The star of the auction was a Mercedes 770 Phaeton that sold for $153,000 — and this grabbed the attention of auto collectors from around the world. From there, the sale of this rare vehicle set the Barrett-Jackson name into motion around the world.
Speeding towards today, Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners and automotive enthusiasts around the world. Its iconic events, branded as The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, take place in Scottsdale, Palm Beach, Houston, and Las Vegas, where hundreds of the most sought-after, unique and valuable automobiles parade in front of a global audience. Take a look at a few of the most awesome cars shown and auctioned off at the 2022 Barrett-Jackson Car Auction:
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Topless Roadster
1960 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible
Be a part of the world’s greatest classic car auction in 2023, just a stone’s throw from Optima Kierland, Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Paradise Valley. And even if you might not be holding a paddle to bid on one of these sweet gems, take the chance to explore the city of Scottsdale, the auction venue – the Westworld of Scottsdale, and immerse yourself in car memorabilia all week long.
Tickets for Barrett-Jackson The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction, taking place from Saturday, January 21, through Sunday, January 29, at WestWorld.
As part of our ongoing public art series, we’ve been exploring exceptional creations to be found across Scottsdale such as Water to Water, Pinball Wizard and today’s breathtaking focus, Impulsion.
Project Background The project was commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art, and installed in December, 2014. It was announced that Impulsion, a work created by Jeff Zischke, had been chosen from 200 applicants as the new sculpture for the entrance of one of the most recognized equestrian centers in the country, WestWorld. The city of Scottsdale undertook an expansion that added 40,000 square feet of space to host special events and renovated their equidome, and wanted to celebrate the newly-opened space with a public art commission.
Today, you’ll find that the equestrian experience at WestWorld is complemented by any number of non-equestrian events ranging from dog shows to auto auctions, including the Barrett-Jackson Car Show. These various events provide great financial benefits to the community while contributing to Scottsdale’s treasure trove of things to do.
Power, Nobility, and Beauty Made of stainless steel tubing, the reflective quality of Impulsion exhibits the brilliance of an equestrian structure floating in formation. The artist’s desire was to create an iconic sculpture to welcome visitors with a grand entry experience as they step inside North Hall at WestWorld.
Construction of Impulsion Impulsion is an amalgamation of several horse breeds, projecting the excitement of explosive movement in equine form. In a recent interview, Zischke explains, “At the fundamental level, my intention is to create a site-specific work that is unique, educational, and interactive. To create a catalyst for an experience that tells visitors that Scottsdale is a place on the move. A place containing all the power of the large, elegant horse they are gazing at.”
Jeff Zischke is an Arizona artist who works in both the public and private art sectors, creating sculptures, mixed media and urban transformation pieces. His viewpoint on the environment he lives in is addressed through varying installations centered on organic shapes and modern technology.
Next time you’re out and about in your hometown or visiting Scottsdale from outside the community, don’t miss an excursion to WestWorld and check out Impulsion!
Before we tee off, it’s important to know that the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open is known as the “Greenest Show on Grass.” Playing host to the greatest players in the game. It is the PGA’s most attended event, drawing nearly 700,000 spectators each year to TPC Scottsdale!
WM stands for so much more than just “Managing Waste.” Not all heroes wear capes, or in this case — hard hats. Through Waste Management’s sponsorship of the Phoenix Open, the company has set out to seek better environmental solutions for everyone. Regardless of whether you’re tossing pizzas, running a construction site, or managing a household.
In 2021, the WM Phoenix Open raised more than $3.8 million dollars for charity, and has raised more than $165M for charities in its 85-year history. At the same time, the event has an economic impact of more than $400 million. Bringing revenue to every part of the hospitality industry in the Scottsdale area.
The action isn’t just limited to the golf course. Behind the scenes, thousands work tirelessly to ensure the WM Phoenix Open generates zero waste for tomorrow and inspires spectators to reimagine what a sporting event can truly be.
TPC Scottsdale Stadium
The City of Scottsdale underwent an extensive renovation of TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium golf course and clubhouse in 2014, led by architect Tom Weiskopf. It included the relocation of four greens, resurfacing of all greens, and reshaping and regrassing of all tee complexes. It also included the relocation and reshaping of all bunker complexes, replacement of cart paths, and re-landscaping of desert areas. The redesign added a dramatic new look to the course, in part due to planting more than 250 trees. Today, the course is both aesthetically pleasing and more challenging.
Water from kitchens and bars are used in portable restrooms during the Phoenix Open, millions of gallons of water are restored for Arizona Tribal Nations through Water Restoration Certificates, and water education is incorporated throughout the entire tournament to raise awareness.
On the subject of emissions, WM Phoenix Open is the first golf organization to sign on to the UN Sports for Climate Action Initiative, aiming for a whopping 50% reduction target of emissions by 2030 and net zero operations by 2040. As if they didn’t prove themselves enough already. Did we mention that all of the electricity purchased for course operation is 100% renewable?
For the fan or golfer who desires to start the year off with a bang! The Waste Management Phoenix Open takes place in Scottsdale from February 6-12.
Purchase Tickets Here for the Greenest Show on Grass!
It’s hard not to picture floor-to-ceiling windows with abundant light, a grand sky deck or a private terrace with unmatched views when thinking of a dream home. And whether you live in a gorgeous desertscape or a bustling metropolitan, nothing beats panoramic views of the surrounding environment. Since one of our favorite aspects of creating elevated living environments is celebrating and embracing the surrounding atmosphere, today we’re exploring the benefits of living with a view.
Location has always been an integral part of our development process at Optima. From the breathtaking mountains that surround Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Kierland Apartments & Optima McDowell Mountain Village to the endless city and lake views at Optima Signature, Optima Verdana and Optima Lakeview, each of our communities offers its own unique views, but all come with the same enriching benefits.
Apart from the picturesque scenes, living with a view, especially one of nature like mountains or water, has a powerful effect on reducing stress. Rejuvenation and refreshment are all but guaranteed with access to a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle around you, like at any of Optima’s sky decks. From the fresh air to the panoramic views from sunset to sunrise, stress decreases, and your health is automatically enhanced.
For creatives, little is more inspiring than a sprawling view. Similar to how living with a view boosts certain areas of our health, it also promotes happiness and creative thinking. While mountains catalyze creative expression, water views, in particular, will leave you with a “blue mind effect”. According to marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols living on or near water shifts typical “red mind” feelings, like tension and anxiety, into “blue mind” feelings of relaxation and cheerfulness.
Whether you’re looking for creative inspiration, need destress or just want to live with breathtaking perspectives of your surroundings, living with a view comes with a number of unknown perks, all of which can be experienced in any of Optima’s communities.
Your apartment is more than just the place you call home; it’s a vital element in your lifestyle and can change the way you experience the everyday. A growing number of people in Scottsdale are seeking to live in a luxury community that can fulfill their every desire, making it easy to create an incredible life they truly love.
At Optima Sonoran Village, our community is expertly designed to serve the wants and needs of every resident, allowing you to shape the luxury lifestyle you deserve. Our luxury apartments in Scottsdale offer an extensive list of amenities that raises the bar for high-end apartment living.
Here are just a few of the top benefits of living in a luxury apartment:
Rather than settle for the cheaply-constructed, poorly-outfitted apartments you’ll find in other communities, the luxury apartments at Optima Sonoran Village are designed with a distinct sense of high-end style. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the stunning desert and city views into your home, while upscale touches like granite countertops, solid surface flooring, and stainless-steel appliances comprise the beautiful interior. Thoughtful elements like walk-in closets, wine refrigerators, and spacious outdoor living areas elevate your apartment unit into your dream home.
Here, you’ll enjoy a balanced live/work/play vibe that makes it easy to live every day as your best self. Stay in prime shape with our 24-hour fitness center, complete with on-site personal training, an indoor lap pool and spa, sports courts, and more. When it’s time to relax, take advantage of resort-style living at our gorgeous outdoor community spaces, featuring pools, fire pits, outdoor saunas, a pet park, and a 19,000 square-foot private residents’ club. Many so-called luxury communities may offer only a single outdoor pool and cramped gym, while Optima Sonoran Village goes above and beyond to deliver a community that truly has it all.
Save yourself time and energy with signature services from Optima Sonoran Village, which makes it easy to focus on doing the things you love. Our complimentary coffee service will deliver your favorite latte every morning, while the 24/7 virtual concierge can handle everything from ordering concert tickets to scheduling your appointments. On-site staff like our custom tailor, Pilates instructor, barbers, and hairstylists will make sure you look and feel your best every day, and electric vehicle charging stations and car wash stations let you keep your vehicle in prime condition.
At the Optima Sonoran Village luxury community, our residents’ safety and security are of the highest priority. Our management staff works tirelessly to maintain the peaceful serenity and upscale ambiance our residents know and love, while useful services like 24/7 package receiving (and pick-up) mean you’ll never have to worry about your most valuable possessions.
For anyone searching for luxury apartments in Old Town Scottsdale and its surrounding neighborhoods, there are plenty of communities that promise the upscale residence and lifestyle you’ve always wanted. However, when it comes to high-end apartment amenities, Scottsdale is home to the one and only luxury community that can truly exceed your every expectation: Optima Sonoran Village. At our luxury apartment community in Scottsdale, we’re redefining the concept of high-end living, providing residents with unparalleled access to exclusive amenities, stunning living spaces, and an excellent location in the heart of Old Town.
Learn more about the luxury lifestyle waiting for you at Optima Sonoran Village by contacting us to schedule your private tour today.
Whether you’re already an Arizona local or someone who’s new to the Grand Canyon State, odds are you already know that the Valley is one of the fastest-growing regions in the U.S. And while each of the cities in the Valley have their own unique qualities to offer new residents, Scottsdale has quickly become known as one of the best places to live in Arizona.
If you’re considering moving to Scottsdale, Arizona, the pros and cons of living here are probably one of the topics you’re most interested in – so we’re breaking down all the best things about relocating to this desert city.
One of the reasons that Scottsdale is such a desirable place to live is that it’s home to a massive variety of restaurants, shops, bars, galleries, and so much more. Whether you’re a sports lover, a foodie, a designer fashionista, or anything in between, you can find plenty of things to do here. Plus, the city’s close proximity to other parts of the Valley makes it easy to access everything Arizona has to offer.
For new residents searching for a luxury residence where they can enjoy a VIP lifestyle, there’s only one community worth considering in downtown Scottsdale: Optima Sonoran Village. Moving to Scottsdale means you’ll be able to settle into your new life at Optima Sonoran Village, where you’ll enjoy the very best in first-class amenities, stunning living spaces, and so much more.
Our contemporary residences are specifically designed to serve as the perfect canvas to your everyday life, and our community offers top-notch amenities such as unparalleled privacy and security, a full-service concierge, world-class fitness center, and lush outdoor landscaping. Located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, we put you within easy reach of everything in Scottsdale.
Where else can you wake up in the winter with 70+ degree sunny weather, hop in your car and be skiing in under three hours? While you may miss the changing seasons in the valley, luckily, you can always go to Flagstaff or Sedona to get your winter fix or Mt Lemmon to go skiing.
Scottsdale is part of the Arizona desert, so it’s probably no surprise that the temperature can climb pretty high here. It’s not unusual to have 100-plus degree days, and the summer sun keeps the city warm from May through September. However, the hot summers mean you’ll be able to make the most of pool party season, especially at the resort-style pools at Optima Sonoran Village.
Like nearly any city in the world, Scottsdale can be an incredible place to start a new life – but only if you choose your home wisely. Whether you’re brand-new to the area or are simply looking for new apartments in Scottsdale, Optima Sonoran Village is the city’s best place to call home. Our luxury residences are unlike anything else in the Valley, complete with the extensive amenities you want and deserve.
Learn more about Optima Sonoran Village and the life you can have here by contacting us to schedule a private tour of our community today.
When you’re a resident at Optima Sonoran Village, you’re a part of one of the most desirable communities in Scottsdale – and a recipient of all of the perks that come along with that. From your comfortable, designer-inspired private home to the stunning community and all its amenities, you won’t find anything quite like the Optima lifestyle anywhere else.
One of the many benefits of choosing our luxury rentals in Scottsdale as your home is Optima Connect™. This program offers a wide range of discounts and exclusive benefits available only to our residents. Discounted fitness classes, tickets to local cultural events, luxury spa treatments, and discounts at the best restaurants in Scottsdale are just some of the exclusive benefits included in the Optima Connect program. You won’t just be living in one of the best apartment communities in the Valley; you’ll also be dining, shopping, and exploring like a true VIP.
When you’re residing in the heart of downtown Scottsdale , why not take advantage of everything the city has to offer? From arts and culture to nightlife and fine dining, you have a diverse range of exciting experiences waiting right outside the community gates.
Here are just a few things to look forward to enjoying in Scottsdale when you become a resident at Optima Sonoran Village:
One of Scottsdale’s highlights is its incredible selection of top-rated restaurants, ranging from luxury steakhouses to casual cafes. No matter what you’re craving, you can find it within minutes from your home at Optima Sonoran Village.
Our community is right around the corner from Fashion Square Mall, where you can browse dozens of designer boutiques, luxury department stores, and trendy shops in one place. Or explore Old Town Scottsdale to find unique gifts, art, and more.
You’ll never be bored in the city of Scottsdale because there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Outdoor adventures, a thriving nightlife, workout classes, museums, and other highlights are waiting for you to explore. And the best part? With the Optima Connect program, you truly can do it all – at an exclusively discounted price. Our partners in the Optima Connect program include the following local businesses, Scottsdale restaurants, service providers, and fitness centers:
Moving into a new apartment is an exciting experience, especially because you have a completely blank canvas to decorate. But for many apartment dwellers, figuring out how to make their space feel like home can be a challenge.
Whether you’re getting ready to relocate to a new place or want to enhance your current apartment, adding the right decorative touches is the best way to truly make it feel like your own. From maximizing the functionality and style of a small apartment to making every room feel unique, we’ve assembled a list of the best apartment decorating tips to help you get started.
You don’t need a professional interior design consultation to style your next apartment – especially with these tips and tricks up your sleeve. For a comfortable, personalized apartment that would impress even the most skilled interior designers, here’s a go-to guide to our favorite apartment decorating ideas.
From table lamps to wall sconces, the right lighting can completely transform your apartment. Even if your apartment already comes with plenty of built-in lighting features in the form of ceiling fans, can lights, and more, you still want to make sure to add your own to enhance the space.
Almost every room should have at least one table or floor lamp, except for the kitchen and bathrooms (although some interior designers add petite lamps there as well). Make use of plug-in wall sconces so that you don’t have to deal with hardwiring – there are so many stylish, designer-crafted options out there. Floor lamps are ideal for a cozy corner, especially if you choose lamps with a slim profile and minimal footprint.
Not only does lighting literally brighten your apartment, but it switches up the mood for certain times of day or occasions. Tech-savvy smart bulbs offer options for adjusting the color, brightness, and more, giving you full control. Think elegantly dimmed dining room lighting for a dinner party, a gently glowing bedside lamp for pre-bedtime reading, and a warm, welcoming entryway lamp to greet you after a long day at work.
Of course, the best way to enjoy a flawlessly lit home is to choose an apartment with ample natural lighting. For example, the floor-to-ceiling windows at Optima Sonoran Village not only offer beautiful views but also let in plenty of sunlight during the daytime hours. What better way to wake up for your morning cardio session than with the Arizona sun gently streaming into your home?
Even if you’ve lived in a large, single-family home, you know that storage is a common frustration – no matter the size of your space. You've probably found yourself searching for new ways to add storage space without weighing down the design with unappealing clutter.
At Optima Sonoran Village, rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms are ready to contain all your necessities with sleek, modern cabinetry. Moving into a thoughtfully designed apartment is the first step you can take towards mastering stylish storage.
There’s also no shortage of attractive, storage-friendly furniture and design ideas to consider. Prefer to keep your area clean and uncluttered? Built-ins with cabinets or furniture with hidden storage drawers are a great option. For the maximalist who like all of their belongings taking center stage, vertical shelving for the walls adds both storage and personality.
When you decorate your apartment, the goal should be to aim for both form and function. Not only do you want the space to look great, but you always need it to serve all your needs, whatsoever those may be. Using furniture pieces, rugs, and other elements to divide your home into “zones,” you can make sure it's being used to its fullest potential.
Creating zones is particularly useful in open concept designs, like in the residences at Optima Sonoran Village. The kitchen, dining room, and living room all flow into each other, which is an ideal way to create the sense of a space that’s larger than it actually is. At the same time, some people aren’t sure how to begin “using” such an open-ended space.
But with furniture, you can set up zones that make sense for your lifestyle. Maybe you love to entertain, so you place a large table and comfortable chairs in the dining area. An oversized, easy-to-clean rug will anchor the area and create a soft cushion underfoot. Keeping this approach in mind, you can keep each space connected but also defined.
When it comes to apartment design ideas, many lists fail to mention the impact that window treatments can have. Even though you might be tempted to skip the time and investment involved, especially when you’re renting, don’t – curtains and shades can completely change your home for the better. Luxurious drapes in the bedroom, a casual cafe curtain in the kitchen, and smart shades in the main living area are both stylish and useful.
Keep in mind that you should always double-check your rental agreement to see if there are any limitations on what you can do.
One of the simplest ways to make your apartment feel like home is with art that speaks to your style. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer contemporary, abstract pieces, traditional and vintage paintings, or even a mix of artistic photography and candid shots of friends and family – if you like it, it should earn a spot in your home.
Create a focal point with a single large piece of wall art, hang a gallery wall that centers on a specific theme, or scatter framed pieces of all sizes throughout all the rooms. Ultimately, how you use art – and the kind you enjoy – is completely up to you.
Ultimately, even the best apartment interior design tips won’t be helpful if you’re starting with a space that doesn’t suit your needs. Instead of settling for an apartment that isn’t perfect for you, why not set yourself up for decorating style success by choosing the best apartments for rent in Scottsdale, AZ?
Optima Sonoran Village is the Valley’s premier luxury rental community, raising the bar for upscale apartment design. With floor plans that range from a streamlined studio to an expansive, three-bedroom apartment with ample room for entertaining, we have something to suit every lifestyle.
Our smallest studios are more spacious than many other apartments for rent in Phoenix, so you can be confident that you’ll have plenty of room to express yourself with the apartment decor of your choice. Plus, because Optima Sonoran Village boasts designer interiors with thoughtful details and premier finishes, you have a stunning space even before you add decor.
See our residences for yourself with an in-person tour of our studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments in Scottsdale – it’s the best way to get a feel for what your future home at Optima Sonoran Village will be like. Contact our leasing office to schedule your tour today!
For anyone planning on moving to Arizona, the pros and cons of living in the Grand Canyon State are probably a major consideration. Anytime you’re thinking about relocating, it’s important to break down both the benefits and drawbacks of your potential new home state – luckily, living in Arizona comes with plenty of perks.
If you’re wondering if you should make the move, here are five of the top pros and cons of living in Arizona, the American Southwest’s favorite desert state:
One of the biggest draws for anyone thinking about moving to Arizona is our famously gorgeous weather, especially during the winter months. While most of the country is digging its way out of snow and ice, we’re soaking up the sun and enjoying mild temperatures. On the flip side, summers are notoriously hot here. But that also means we get to spend more time at the pool than any other state’s residents – and it’s tough to complain about that.
The Phoenix metro area has become a hub for business, including technology, finance, and more. You’re likely to find a wealth of professional opportunities here, and it’s possible to exceed all of your career goals as a Valley resident. However, the flourishing economy attracts many exceptional job candidates, so be prepared to go above and beyond to win the job of your dreams.
The Phoenix metro area encompasses several thriving cities, including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, and others. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, you can definitely find options – but knowing exactly where to go can feel confusing. Instead of ending up in a part of town that doesn’t suit your needs, stick with a luxury rental community in the heart of the city, like Optima Sonoran Village.
Even though Arizona’s cities are very metropolitan, the surrounding desert landscape is still flourishing with beautiful plants and animals. On the upside, you have a variety of choices for scenic hikes; but the downside is that while you’re on the mountain, you may encounter some of the desert's famous wildlife.
Arizona has so much to offer locals and visitors alike, which is why it’s become such a popular tourist destination. You might find that the state’s most well-known hot spots can get pretty busy, depending on the time of year. However, once you’re a local, you’ll have all the insider knowledge for where to go – and when – to beat the crowds.
Optima Sonoran Village is Scottsdale’s premier luxury community, located in the heart of the city’s trendy Old Town district. Here, you’ll be living in one of the most exclusive apartment communities in Phoenix, living a VIP-worthy lifestyle in our stunning, open-concept apartments, and taking advantage of an impressive variety of amenities.
Discover the incredible lifestyle waiting for you at Optima Sonoran Village by contacting us to schedule a private community tour today.
Scottsdale, Arizona has established itself as one of America’s most desirable places to call home, joining the ranks of other enviable cities such as Beverly Hills, Miami, and New York City. Living in Scottsdale means being surrounded by the epitome of luxury, desert beauty, and fun, so it comes as no surprise that so many people are dreaming of moving to this Arizona city. If you're thinking about relocating to Scottsdale, here’s what you need to know about this shining gem of the American Southwest.
One of the reasons that Scottsdale is such a popular destination for new residents and tourists alike is the wealth of experiences this one-of-a-kind city has to offer:
Named the “desert version of Miami’s South Beach” by none other than the New York Times, Scottsdale has a well-earned reputation as one of the most stylish cities in the country. Trendy nightclubs, upscale designer fashion, celebrity residents, contemporary art, and five-star dining are among the city’s shining qualities, making it a hub for cutting-edge action.
While other metropolitan centers are covered in freezing snow and ice all winter long, Scottsdale enjoys plenty of sun and mild temperatures in the 60s and 70s. With more than 330 days of sunshine every year, the city is the perfect place to escape cold winters and rainy climates.
While there are plenty of options for apartments in Scottsdale, in order to truly experience the best of this thriving city, you’ll want to choose your home carefully. A handful of luxury apartment communities in Scottsdale, including Optima Sonoran Village, represent the ultimate in VIP living. Counted among the best upscale residences in the world, these communities feature amenities such as complimentary coffee service, 24/7 concierge, on-site personal training and massage services, rooftop decks, and so much more. For anyone moving to Scottsdale, a luxury residence provides a lifestyle unlike any other.
Interested in living in Scottsdale, AZ? With so much to do and see in this cosmopolitan desert city, you’ll be glad you made the move. At Optima Sonoran Village, you’ll be able to truly experience the Scottsdale lifestyle, where every single day can be your best one yet. Our community is designed for the resident who wants more from life, with spacious, designer-inspired interiors, lush landscaping, and unparalleled amenities.
Learn more about planning a move to Scottsdale and choosing the right Optima Sonoran Village residence for you by scheduling your private tour today.
Photo Credits: Shutterstock/ Tim Roberts Photography
When you’re trying to make any big life decision, breaking down the pros and cons of each of your options can be a smart way to make the right choice. Of course, deciding whether renting or buying is better is completely up to you – and means that you’ll need to consider your lifestyle, budget, and preferences. It can be overwhelming to figure out which is the best fit for you, especially when both offer their own unique pros and cons.
But now, we’re making it easier to weigh your options by arming you with a handy list of the most important factors to take into account when you’re wondering: should I rent or buy?
Owning your own home is often considered an important milestone that every individual should strive for – but is it really all it’s cracked up to be? While there are certainly positive aspects to homeownership, there are plenty of downsides as well. In fact, when you assess the pros and cons of renting versus buying, a rental property often comes out as the winner.
Here are just some of the benefits of renting when compared to buying, making it easy to see why more and more people are deciding to rent their dream residences:
One of the biggest advantages to renting is that you can live without worry of an unexpected repair bill or major maintenance cost. If you know even a few homeowners, you’ve likely heard about the long list of things that can go wrong with a property – and it adds up quickly! But when you’re a renter, it’s not your responsibility to deal with maintenance, improvements, or repairs. From appliances to light bulbs, it’s all handled by your property manager.
It’s common to hear that owning a home is less expensive than renting in the long run, but that argument doesn’t usually take repair and maintenance into account. Even a new home can have expensive issues, driving your overall costs higher and higher. If you’d prefer to avoid the expense (and stress!) of repair and maintenance, then renting might be right for you.
When you buy a home, you might be lucky to have a few parks in your neighborhood… luxury neighborhoods might even offer a community pool. However, nothing can compare to the amenities available to you as a resident of a luxury apartment community. Even the most basic of rental communities usually offer attractive amenities such as a fitness center and swimming pool, with upscale rentals promising a lifestyle that anybody would envy.
For example, at Optima Sonoran Village, we’ve crafted a Scottsdale rental community that has more amenities than you’ll find anywhere else in the Valley. Resort-style pools, a 24-hour fitness center, on-site personal training, massage rooms, complimentary coffee services, and a virtual concierge are just a few of our residents’ favorite amenities. Here, you don’t even need to leave the property to experience a full day of luxury.
It’s not unusual for single-family home neighborhoods to be located some distance away from a city’s most popular highlights. Because of the nature of city planning, as a homeowner, you’re likely to end up at least a few minutes’ drive away from great shopping, dining, and entertainment.
However, rental communities are often nestled next to the most exclusive destinations in a city. Optima Sonoran Village is adjacent to many of the best shops, galleries, and restaurants in Scottsdale, including the dining and nightlife in Old Town Scottsdale. Just outside our community, you’ll find a myriad of places within walking distance. Scottsdale Fashion Square has all of the designer boutiques and high-end department stores you can think of, while the Scottsdale Waterfront features five-star dining. Just a few miles away, the natural splendor of Camelback Mountain and the Desert Botanical Garden awaits.
And even though we’re so close to the best in Scottsdale, Optima Sonoran Village remains a quiet, peaceful retreat from the excitement of city living.
Purchasing a home is a huge decision, mainly because it is a big commitment in terms of time and money. Even if you decide that you don’t like your home, you can’t just move out. Instead, you have to resell it, which involves plenty of expense and wait time. Life events such as a relocated job, new relationship, or even just a change in lifestyle can be a massive burden for homeowners.
But when you’re renting an apartment, you can enjoy far more flexibility. A typical lease averages about one year, though some communities offer shorter or longer options. If you do need to unexpectedly break your lease, you will be required to pay a fee. However, the cost and stress will be much less than what’s required to sell a home. In the event that you realize you want more space or a different layout, you might just decide to relocate to another apartment in the same community – a quick, easy move that can offer a major lifestyle upgrade.
Are you still undecided when it comes to choosing between renting or buying? Once you’ve toured a luxury apartment at Optima Sonoran Village, one of the most exclusive apartment communities in Scottsdale, your decision might just be an easy one. With designer-inspired residences, resort-style amenities, stunning grounds, and a premier location in the heart of Old Town, Optima Sonoran Village redefines apartment living.
Here, you can enjoy all of the benefits of living in a rental apartment, all while reveling in the quality of life normally reserved for private luxury residences. Prospective residents can choose from a diverse range of floorplans, many of which offer more square footage, high-end finishes, and amenities than an average home. Add to that the incredible lifestyle that’s within easy reach at Optima Sonoran Village, and the choice is clear: here, you can seize the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Find your dream Scottsdale rental and take your first steps towards luxury living by contacting us or scheduling a tour today.
Updated March 2022
For people that are moving out of California, there’s one state, in particular, that’s at the top of their relocation list: Arizona. In the last decade, hundreds of thousands of Californians have relocated to Arizona, ready to take advantage of all the benefits of living in our sunny desert state. From a thriving economy to affordable living, Arizona – and especially the Phoenix metro area – has plenty of perks to offer those coming from the Golden State.
Even though Arizona and California are next-door neighbors, they have their fair share of differences. However, there are also many similarities between the two, which is why Arizona has become such a popular relocation option for Californians.
If you’re considering relocating to Arizona from California and are wondering what exactly is waiting for you, we have all the answers right here. At Optima Sonoran Village, Scottsdale’s premier luxury rental community, we’re no strangers to California transplants. Once you see what to expect when moving from California to Scottsdale, we’re confident that we’ll be seeing you soon.
There’s no doubt that California is famous for its West Coast way of life. And for many that are moving away from the state, it’s tough to know whether Arizona will live up to their expectations. Even though the two are neighboring states, there’s no doubt that there are some differences in climate, culture, and lifestyle. But if you ask us – and the hundreds of thousands of people from California to here – Arizona has definitely earned its status as one of the best places to live in the U.S.
Here’s a useful breakdown of how Arizona living stacks up against life in California:
Cost of living: Across the board, from groceries and transportation to housing and childcare, California is a far more expensive place to live. In AZ, groceries cost an average of 30% less, transportation is 16% less, and childcare is a shocking 75% less expensive than California. And of course, housing in Arizona beats California by a landslide, with a one-bedroom apartment averaging 37% less than a comparable one in CA.
Taxes: Individual income tax in Arizona is about half of what it is in California, and sales tax is also considerably lower.
Job market: The Arizona unemployment rate is consistently lower than that of California, and as our economy has grown, job opportunities do too. We have a rapidly expanding tech industry, as well as a diverse range of career options in just about every industry.
Traffic: California rush hour is infamous, so we don’t think we need to tell you that driving in Arizona is going to be easier. Sure, we have some traffic here, but it’s nothing compared to California.
Imagine a stylish, laidback city with the best in dining, shopping, nightlife, entertainment, and outdoor adventure – that’s Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s become an international destination for the rich and famous, especially those with a taste for the finer things in life. But at the same time, Scottsdale has all the relaxed, fun-loving vibes of a Southern California community.
If you’re planning to move to Arizona from California, you’ll be pleased to hear that Scottsdale is a city that can more than measure up to your former hometown. As one of the most in-demand cities in the Phoenix metro area and adjacent to virtually everything you could want in the entire Valley, Scottsdale is ideal for the California transplant that wants to have it all.
Here are just a few of the unique benefits of relocating to Scottsdale, especially when you’re a former Californian:
There is a long list of Scottsdale furniture stores for decorating your new home, antique shops in Old Town for vintage treasures, and a wide variety of retailers small and large for everything you could ever want or need.
If you’re looking for places to eat in Scottsdale, you won’t be disappointed. Some of Scottsdale’s best restaurants are within minutes of our community, putting residents within a short distance of five-star cuisine. You can also grab a quick and casual bite at dozens of neighborhood cafes and restaurants or enjoy a morning coffee while exploring Old Town. No matter what you’re craving, Scottsdale restaurants have you covered.
Spots like Camelback Mountain offer stunning views while you work up a sweat, or you can opt for a more leisurely stroll in one of Scottsdale’s many parks. Prefer to get your exercise on the green? Home to dozens of first-class golf courses, Scottsdale is a welcome home for golf lovers.
If basketball or football is more your style, you’re just a short drive away from the PHX Arena (home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns) and State Farm Stadium (home field of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals). Other professional teams in the area include the Phoenix Mercury (WNBA), Arizona Coyotes (NHL), and Phoenix Rising (USL Championship).
What if you could take everything you love about living in California – the sun, the active lifestyle, the wide variety of things to do – and transport it somewhere less crowded and more affordable? When you make the move from California to Arizona, that dream can become a reality.
Scottsdale is home to so many of the state’s top highlights, including Optima Sonoran Village, the most exclusive luxury apartment community in the Valley. Within our gates, you’ll discover a lifestyle that feels like an everyday vacation. From our multiple resort pools and first-class fitness center to the coffee service, concierge, and juice bar, at Optima Sonoran Village, you can have it all.
Our residences range in size from minimalistic studios to spacious, three-bedroom apartments, providing as much space as you need. Plus, with designer touches and upscale finishes, our Scottsdale apartments are the ultimate in luxury living.
For more information about how Optima Sonoran Village can be the perfect place to start your life in Arizona, contact our office today.
What You’ll Learn:
In this post about the debate between L.A. and Scottsdale, we’re going to cover:
When you think of the most stylish, beautiful, and trendy cities in America, which ones come to mind? Odds are, you can name a few great places – and we’re willing to bet that your list includes Los Angeles, CA, and Scottsdale, AZ.
These two West Coast cities get plenty of recognition for being two of the best cities to live in in the United States. Scottsdale and L.A. are the cities you see featured in your favorite movies, the hometowns of celebrities, socialites, athletes, and everyday people alike.
Both boast warm, sunny weather, friendly locals, and a wealth of things to do and see. But even though L.A. and Scottsdale share many similarities, they also have a fair number of differences.
If you’ve ever wondered why Scottsdale and L.A. are so often compared, the answer is pretty simple: they’re both incredible cities to live in, visit, and enjoy. And while each one has its unique benefits, many agree that one comes out on top in the big picture.
Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between Los Angeles and Scottsdale – when we’re done, and we’re confident that you’ll agree with our winning pick.
Both Scottsdale and L.A. have the kind of weather that most people only dream about: sunshine, warm temperatures, and no harsh winters. With weather like that, you can make the most of everything the cities have to offer. These two cities make it all easy, from hiking and biking to enjoying patio brunches and a day at the pool.
If you’re a dedicated sun lover, it might be worth noting that Scottsdale tends to have more sunny days per year.
Ask anybody why moving to L.A. is a good idea, and they’ll likely mention how many things there are to do in the City of Angels. Los Angeles has a world-famous culinary scene and some of the best shopping on the planet. Plus, it’s an excellent destination for nightlife, whether you prefer laidback local bars or hip nightclubs.
But even so, Scottsdale can hold its own in this comparison. The shopping, nightlife, and restaurants in Scottsdale have an excellent reputation for being as diverse as they are incredible. You can sit down for a casual weekend brunch with a Bloody Mary, then browse an upscale designer boutique, swing by a dive bar for an afternoon beer, then end the evening at one of the finest gourmet restaurants in the country. Scottsdale is the perfect balance of casual cool and high-end, giving you the best of both worlds.
Even if you’ve never set foot in L.A., you’ve probably heard about the shocking cost of living in the city. The entire Southern California region is famously expensive, with high prices for everything from rent and taxes to groceries and gas. The average cost of living in Los Angeles is almost double the national average, with housing expenses clocking in nearly three times the U.S. average.
Compared to L.A., the Scottsdale cost of living comes out on top. You can expect to pay at least 30% more as a resident of L.A., meaning that a third of your income (or more!) will go into basic expenses. Wouldn’t you rather have that chunk of cash to use towards dining, shopping, and fun?
Like any large city, Scottsdale has streets that can get a little busy at certain times of day – but if you’ve ever sat for hours in L.A.’s infamous traffic, you know that nothing can be as painful as a Southern California freeway in rush hour.
This is partly due to the fact that Scottsdale is less congested than Los Angeles, so traffic simply flows more smoothly here. Our system of freeways and surface streets gives you a variety of options for getting from Point A to Point B, so you can always opt for an alternate route to avoid slow speeds. Plus, our grid-style street set-up makes it a lot easier to get around in general – you can forget about all those U-turns, missed exits, and detours that are so common in L.A.
We’ve already talked about the prices you’ll pay for an apartment in L.A., but what if you don’t mind paying a little more to live in California? Well, you might not be too bothered by spending extra on rent, but you’ll probably be a little alarmed when you see how far your money gets you.
By comparison, Scottsdale is where you’ll find some of the best upscale rental communities in the region. For the same rent price, you can live in a resort-style community with all the amenities you could ever want. Professionally designed interiors with upgraded finishes and spacious floor plans can be yours, as can a community that offers private gym facilities, concierge services, swimming pools, and even parking.
Sure, living in Los Angeles may have its perks – but have you ever tried to find apartments for rent in L.A.? Sky-high prices and a fast-paced market make it virtually impossible to discover great places to live in Los Angeles. But here in Scottsdale, you can enjoy the lifestyle offered by the best luxury apartments in the Valley: Optima Sonoran Village.
When it comes to the level of luxury, style, and quality that’s waiting for you at Optima Sonoran Village, Los Angeles simply can’t complete. Located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, our exclusive community offers unmatched amenities, designer-level residences, and accessibility to all of the city’s top highlights – and best of all, our Scottsdale rents are far more affordable than what you’d find in L.A.
As a resident of Optima Sonoran Village, you’ll be surrounded by a wide range of things to do in Scottsdale: five-star restaurants, luxury shopping, scenic surroundings, and so much more. Plus, you’re a short commute away from countless businesses throughout the Valley, making it that much easier to snag your dream job. When you come home, you’ll have a top-of-the-line gym, fitness classes, resort pools, saunas, and many other community amenities just steps from your front door. And when you venture out into the city, you’ll realize that you can never run out of new places to explore.
Learn more about how to move to Scottsdale and start living the lifestyle you want and deserve. Contact Optima Sonoran Village to schedule your private tour of our community and residences today.
Updated March 2022
In 2020, tens of thousands of people were leaving California and relocating to Arizona – but why are so many West Coasters heading to the desert state?
It’s no secret that Arizona is drawing new residents at an impressive rate, making its capital city of Phoenix the fastest-growing city in America. According to an article from Forbes, benefits like a thriving job market, affordable housing, and reasonable taxes make Arizona a popular relocation destination. Making a move to Arizona is an especially attractive idea for Californians.
We’re taking a closer look at why so many Californians want to move to Phoenix, breaking down key factors such as:
Our Southwestern state has become a hot spot for relocation, especially for people heading east from California to Arizona. The Phoenix metropolitan area, which includes Scottsdale, Tempe, and Chandler, is where you’ll find many former California residents.
In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have been added to the Arizona population – and here’s why.
One of the most important parts of deciding to relocate is determining the next steps for your career – and in Phoenix, you have the potential to go as far as you want to.
During the early 2000s, the Arizona economy overcame major challenges to come back stronger than ever. As a result of the learning and growth during those years, Phoenix has built an impressively solid economy based on modern industries such as bioscience, technology, business, health care, and financial services. For job seekers, that means that there are many opportunities for skilled professionals, offering excellent job security and income potential.
Because the valley is a popular travel destination, there are also many Phoenix jobs in hospitality, corporate industries, entertainment, and retail. The state is host to Major League Baseball’s Spring Training Leagues, the Waste Management Open, and other tourism-based events, all of which keep local businesses busy and job growth on the rise. And of course, as more people move to Arizona, industries like construction and real estate stay healthy as well.
The California unemployment rate is significantly higher than in Arizona, so if you are looking for a job in the Grand Canyon State, your prospects are good.
When you live in California, you get used to everything being exorbitantly expensive. The first time you come to Arizona, you might be shocked to see low numbers everywhere, from the gas station to the grocery store.
Many people who move from California to Arizona name the cost of living as their biggest draw. Everyday expenses such as car insurance, gas, state income tax, health care, and groceries tend to be much less expensive. Plus, your dollar goes much further when it comes to rent, dining, and entertainment as well.
Phoenix is the better choice for the savvy spender when you’re comparing the amount you pay to live in California cities such as San Francisco or Los Angeles.
Are you tired of settling for a too-small studio apartment in California, even though you’re paying through the nose for rent? In Phoenix, you can choose from a good mix of housing options priced well below anything in the Golden State. New construction and regular remodeling mean that you can easily find upgraded residences to suit your lifestyle, rather than having to deal with subpar amenities, repair issues, and other frustrations.
As one of the most in-demand luxury rental communities in Scottsdale, Optima Sonoran Village has welcomed more than our fair share of people moving from California. From the moment many new residents arrive, they’re delighted by the comfort and luxury waiting for them here. Lush landscaping, spacious residences, private outdoor spaces, and amenities worthy of a five-star resort are just a few of the features that draw people to our Scottsdale apartments – it's a lifestyle that you simply won’t find anywhere else.
California and Arizona have plenty of differences, but they have one big thing in common: you’ll virtually never run out of things to do and see. Here, you can go from mountain biking at South Mountain Park to eating at one of the five-star restaurants in Scottsdale, then wake up the next morning and choose between designer boutique shopping, a casual brunch, hiking in the desert, or an afternoon at the spa.
When you’re coming from California to Arizona, you aren’t saying goodbye to a lifestyle full of excitement; instead, you’re signing up for one that has more possibilities than you could ever imagine.
It’s difficult for many Californians to imagine saying goodbye to the convenience of being in a large metropolitan city. Whether you reside in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, or another large California, moving to Arizona might seem like a big sacrifice.
However, you just might be surprised after moving to Arizona – the experience of living here captures all the best things about a city dweller lifestyle. Scottsdale, Phoenix, and other Valley cities have vibrant downtown districts filled with high rises and major attractions. Public transportation is easily accessible, and you’re never far from a great restaurant, trendy bar, or stylish boutique.
You don’t have all the stress associated with living in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other California cities. For example, Phoenix traffic is a breeze compared to L.A., and the city as a whole is much less congested. Even though the rate of population growth in Arizona is steady, our cities have been built to accommodate the growing number of people very well.
Are you considering moving from California to Arizona? If the long list of reasons above hasn’t convinced you yet, we think that experiencing Optima Sonoran Village definitely will.
Situated in Old Town Scottsdale’s heart, Optima Sonoran Village is the Valley’s premier luxury rental community. We’ve created an exclusive private retreat that’s just minutes away from the best highlights of Phoenix, putting you within easy reach of everything you could want to see and do. Our contemporary residences are designed for the individual that expects more, incorporating unmatched designer touches, upgrades, and thoughtful details.
Whether you’re a young professional joining the Phoenix job market or a retiree interested in moving to Arizona, Optima Sonoran Village can be the place you love to call home. There’s no community quite like ours with unmatched amenities and an unparalleled location.
Discover the luxurious lifestyle awaiting you at Optima Sonoran Village by contacting our leasing office for more information today.
At Optima, one of the cornerstones of our design process is the green space in our communities. With Optima Sonoran Village situated on a ten acre site in downtown Scottsdale, there was an abundance of space to become green. Of the ten acres, six of them are open space that not only mediate the harsh desert climate but also create visually stunning landscaped areas to be enjoyed by residents and the community.
Lush Landscaping and Pedestrian Paths
Courtyard walking paths wind throughout the property, guiding public pedestrians into and through the development and its centralized courtyards. Surrounding the paths is a varied palette of plantlife. This colorful landscaping against the signature Optima pops of color provides a vibrancy and complement to the more subdued, natural hues of the surrounding desert.
Original Public Art
Placed within the courtyards are five original David Hovey sculptures, which range in size up to ten feet. As expansive and evocative pieces of public art, these sculptures activate the spaces that they occupy, and enhance the experience of those passing through.
Green Space as Mediator
The greenspace at Optima Sonoran Village also serves to mitigate the heat island effect, where dense urban areas experience warmer temperatures due to human activity. To reduce the urban heat island experienced in Scottsdale, the abundant landscaping throughout the courtyards provides shade and cooling through evapotranspiration — the release of water into the atmosphere from plant surfaces.
Nestled within the courtyards and their intricate spread of walking paths are exceptional outdoor amenities. A large fountain serves as a dazzling display and a centerpiece around which to lounge and relax. Farther in, an outdoor resort pool with lounge chairs, umbrellas and firepits is made private by the surrounding landscaping.
The greenery continues, drawing the eye upward to the building’s spectacular vertical landscaping and creating a whole immerse experience. The effect of walking through the property’s greenspace, backdropped by dusky desert mountains, is one of entering a lush oasis.
As an installation in downtown Scottsdale and with paths open to the public, the greenspace at Optima Sonoran Village is enhancing not only the community of the development, but of its surrounding area too.
At Optima, we don’t just construct buildings, we create communities. At every step of our process, from selecting location, to construction, to leasing and renting out our retail space, we make decisions leveraging what we can provide to enhance our residents’ lives and the lives of the people in the surrounding neighborhood.
At Optima Signature in Chicago, our retail tenants include Egg Harbor Cafe, Guidepost Montessori School, RUNAWAY Fitness, Bedazzled Nails, GoodVets. These amenities enhance the lives of our residents and neighbors, creating onsite amenities and vibrant gathering places that encourage connection and socialization. Not only are our retail tenants adding to Optima Signature, but they contribute to the greater Streeterville community — Egg Harbor is a beloved breakfast staple in the Chicago suburbs, and their Optima Signature location will be their debut in downtown Chicago. And Guidepost Montessori School was the first of its kind for the neighborhood.
At Optima Sonoran Village in Scottsdale, one of our retail tenants, Kaleidoscope Juice, has become a place where people can meet old and new friends over a meal, juice or coffee throughout the day. Residents might meet someone in the gym at Optima Sonoran Village and decide to reconvene on their patio — having the retail space to gather deepens connections within the community, allowing residents to get to know their neighbors.
When selecting our tenants, it’s vital to our mission that the retail we bring to our communities is additive, contributing new spaces for our residents to use and bringing much needed and desired resources to the neighborhoods we call home.
Optima buildings are distinguished by our Modernist design, and by our signature pops of color. Because color can influence design, and in turn, influence those that experience our design, the color decisions we make are purposeful and serve to enhance and activate our architecture and the spaces around it.
Color Theory and Psychology
Color is fundamental to the Modernist tradition. Much of color theory was born out of the Bauhaus modernist art school, where four artists changed the way we talk about color today: Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Josef Albers. Itten, particularly, created the color sphere with primary, secondary and tertiary tones, was the first to determine warm and cool tones, and was a pioneer in associating different colors with emotions.
Today, the study of color and their relationship to human emotion is called color psychology. In the first 30 seconds of viewing an object, our brains make a quick judgment and react to what we see. Color plays a large part in this response; for people, tones and hues are tied to specific emotions and feelings. On a biological/physical level, when we see colors, that vision is transferred over to the brain, which in turn signals to our endocrine system to release specific hormones that create a correlating feeling or mood to what we’ve seen. Armed with this insight, we integrate color into our design solutions to create an emotional impact. But our use of color goes beyond.
Color in Optima Design
In our Arizonian desert residences, we select hues to complement the vegetation of the desert, seamlessly blending our architecture with its environs; indoor with outdoor. At Sterling Ridge, concrete walls merge with the earth, making the home an extension of the land. The result is a harmonious design, one that enhances our building and the land around it. Orange and red color details serve to give an exciting pop of color against a cohesive, blended pallet.
In many of our condos and multifamily residences, we use color in the exterior facade to compliment the surroundings of the building. At Optima Sonoran Village, orange, yellow, and green details are drawn from actual colors found in the surrounding lush landscaping. The hues were inspired by the area’s desert flowers, serving to draw out the naturally occurring colors of the terrain.
Color isn’t just important in our building design — we incorporate color into all of our design practices, including experimental color play with our sculptures. Often executed in different colors depending on the surrounding space, sculpture is another facet to Optima in which we experiment with shades and hues. Color has a long and storied history, but for us, it’s a continuing exploration that has us learning more each day.
One of our cornerstone beliefs at Optima is that our buildings can help improve the lives of those who reside within them by offering everyday comforts and conveniences — and we’re constantly searching for ways to innovate and improve.
It’s no secret that coworking spaces and the ability to work remotely, or from home, has become increasingly popular in the professional sector. In 2018, a staggering 1,000 new coworking spaces were introduced in the United States alone — and experts don’t see the trend slowing down anytime soon. Some estimates claim that freelancers will even outnumber full-time employees in the workforce by 2027.
We were happy to respond to the growing need by integrating our own rentable, commercial business suites into our multi-family communities, starting in 2010 with Optima Camelview Village. Since Optima Camelview Village, we have designed business suites at Optima Sonoran Village, Optima Chicago Center and Optima Signature with a live-work-play environment in mind. At each site, we have seen measurable success as the remote working trend continues to be on the rise and residents take advantage of the opportunity to utilize a workspace right in their own home.
Having business suites within our communities makes work feel like a more comfortable, more convenient experience. And that’s exactly what we want to bring to our residents and tenants.
Chicago and Scottsdale both provide endless activities and events throughout the year, but autumn is when the allure of both cities emerges more than ever. From Oktoberfest in Lakeview to a hike in the Sonoran Mountains, here are a few of the many activities you can discover throughout Chicago and Scottsdale this autumn:
Throughout the city, there are many locations to admire the vibrant autumn leaves as they change, and the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe is one. Across their more than 385 acres of land, they provide their fall-color tree walk and host the Night of 1,000 Pumpkins event in October.
Another way to enjoy the cool autumn weather in Chicago is by visiting the nostalgic ChiTown Movies Outdoor Theater. Nearly every night, they showcase blockbusters, classics and every genre in between in the Pilsen neighborhood. For anyone looking to stay indoors, you can catch Broadway shows like Wicked and Anastasia downtown or enjoy cutting-edge shows in the Belmont Theater District, in the neighborhood of Optima Lakeview.
Autumn also brings an array of local festivals that reside throughout almost every neighborhood of the city. Two of the most popular events include Lakeview’s entertainment-filled Oktoberfest held on September 23-25, and Lincoln Square’s Apple Fest the first weekend of October.
There’s no better way to enjoy the Sonoran desert and its autumn weather than seeing it up close! McDowell’s Sonoran Preserve, less than a 15-minute drive from Optima Kierland and 30-minute drive from Optima Sonoran Village, is the perfect desert habitat for both bikers and hikers, thanks to its more than 225 miles of scenic trails. Pinnacle Peak Park, a little farther North, provides even more panoramic views of the Sonoran Desert.
McDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch is a popular spot for anyone looking for classic, seasonal entertainment. Not only are they known for their bright pumpkin patch, but they also have a petting zoo, hay-bale maze, and various lawn games throughout October.
The season also brings various themed festivals to Scottsdale. One of the most enjoyed is the Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival, where visitors can discover both unique artworks and new blends of wine. In October, the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale fill their grounds with a display of graphic hot air balloons accompanied by live music, delicious food and costumed guests for its Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival.
The autumn months don’t last long. So before time runs out, take advantage of all the fascinating seasonal opportunities found throughout Chicago and Scottsdale!
At Optima, we approach every project as an opportunity to explore the best possible ways to create harmony between the built and natural environments to allow our residents to enjoy a wealth of benefits that contribute to a healthier, more sustainable environment.
We understand that greenspaces; parks, gardens, conservatories, roof gardens and residential greenery are crucial to the vitality of urban spaces and the communities where they are found. Population density of urban areas is increasing swiftly. By 2050, it is estimated that 68% of the global population will live in cities. According to the WHO, urban greenspaces promote mental and physical health through the promotion of physical activity, mutual understanding, and mitigating exposure to air and noise pollution as well as excessive heat.
In the summer, the heat generated by human activity, transport, and industry creates an increased need for energy consumption to cool spaces. Green areas have the ability to absorb that heat and pollution. They also allow urban dwellers to stretch their legs and be outside, improving cardiovascular health and relieving stress. Each space also promotes social cohesion, the coming together of people who would usually not interact with each other due to the individualistic nature of urban living.
At Optima we recognize the tremendous advantages greenspaces provide. In Chicago, Optima Signature’s inviting plaza filled with lush landscaping and 1.5 acres of amenity space encourages residents to spend time outdoors. Gardens, landscaped fire pits, swimming pools, and outdoor entertainment all radiate the feeling of an oasis within the larger urban environment.
Optima Kierland Center embraces its surrounding beauty and builds off of it. Lush greenery fills the more than 7.5 acres of open space connecting Optima Kierland’s buildings in a park-like setting. Similarly, Optima Sonoran Village utilizes more than half of its 10-acre property to house stunning landscaping, sculpture, and pedestrian paths while mitigating the desert’s harsh climate. We utilize rooftop gardens and our signature vertical landscaping at Optima Sonoran Village, Optima Kierland Apartments, and will be bringing it to Chicago at Optima Verdana, to create an oasis inspired by its surroundings that contribute to the greater environment. This type of green space brings both beauty and positive contributions to their communities.
Greenspaces make urban living refreshing, enjoyable and social. And as our cities become more and more dense, urban greenspaces become a crucial part of the ecosystem — and of our enhanced quality of life.
Vertical landscaping is a signature feature across Optima communities. In Arizona, we’re easily recognized by the lush greenery that makes itself a key element of the facade at Optima Camelview Village and Optima Sonoran Village. Most recently, we’ve even strategized how to bring our vertical landscaping to the inclement midwestern climate, with plans to incorporate it at our latest development in Wilmette, Optima Verdana.
Besides providing aesthetic value through added beauty and privacy for residents, our vertical landscaping system also serves another important purpose: bringing a broad array of environmental benefits to the natural environments in which we build.
The impact of our vertical landscaping system is something we calculated carefully through extensive design exploration, engineering and a multi-year research collaboration with Arizona State University.
The system, with self-containing irrigation and drainage, provides a haven for urban wildlife, promotes evaporative cooling, re-oxygenates the air, reduces dust and smog levels, reduces ambient noise, detains stormwater and thermally insulates and shields residents from the desert sun, all of which contributes to a sustainable urban environment.
Residents and community members alike also get to experience the direct impact of being surrounded by nature, with the vertical landscaping system serving as a connection to nature. Wherever this connection is made, it fosters a lifelong appreciation for the environment around us, and helps us all to stay mindful of the role we play in keeping that environment safe.
Coming out of the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic where so many people suffered from social isolation, human connection and shared experiences feel more urgent than ever. One way to achieve such experiences is to embrace the idea of democratic spaces. This term describes spaces that are shared by the public for the free enjoyment of all. Below, we take a closer look at how the term came to be and what it looks like in action.
The idea of democratic space has historically thrived in Brazilian architecture and design. To break it down: democracy itself is a system that ensures plurality and representation in politics and society. Democratic space, then, becomes any space that invites multiple groups to equally decide how they’d like to use the space, and then do so freely.
Late Modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi was one such Brazilian figure who advocated for more democratic spaces. Most notably, her work in creating vital cultural centers in the region demonstrated the philosophy in action: these were places where tolerance, equality and freedom drove design.
In an interview with Fora, professor and critic Guilherme Wisnik discussed how, if public space is a source of conflict (i.e. how should it be used and by whom), then this conflict is a virtue. Conflict and debate give way to the opportunity to better understand a wide variety of diverse people and diverse needs, and approaching space democratically allows architects and urban planners alike to use space as a "theater for the mediation of differences."
Democratic Space at Optima
Anytime you bring a residential development to a community, there’s a balance to be struck between creating a private haven for residents themselves, as well as adding value and resources to surrounding community members.
At Optima, this moral consideration plays out in several ways. First and foremost, we’re committed to bringing beautiful buildings that pay respect to the surrounding built and natural environment alike. Ours are communities designed with the existing climate and available, sustainable materials in mind – and through landscaping, we’re always thoughtful about bringing visual beauty and increased greenery to the neighborhood.
Public art is also a component of what we do at Optima. Many of our communities feature original sculptures by David Hovey Sr. In fact, Optima Sonoran Village is home to an entire sculpture garden for all in the area to enjoy. Beyond the sculpture garden, Optima Sonoran Village incorporates lushly landscaped open spaces, which are interconnected with the central courtyards allowing public pedestrian access along pathways into and through the development. Located on the boundary of the Downtown District, the pedestrian areas are designed to accommodate and encourage a visual and functional connection of the adjacent neighborhoods with the Camelback Corridor and Downtown Scottsdale.
Meanwhile in downtown Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, the plaza out front of Optima Signature brings an unusual public space to a densely developed area. Kiwi, an original David Hovey Sr. sculpture swathed in a brilliant shade of yellow, is a feature that invites passerby to stop and linger for a while. In addition to the public art sculpture, the plaza at Optima Signature also features a long stretch of lushly landscaped gardens, perfect for an inner-city stroll.
As we come out of these challenging times, design has a crucial role to play in creating opportunities for connection and community just like these.
While Modernism has a history over a century deep, modern-day architects designing in the discipline are looking towards the future. Recently, Space Caviar founder Joseph Grima published a manifesto for a new kind of non-extractive architecture, positioning Modernism’s traditional, formalistic approach against a new, environmentalist way of operating.
Moving Away From the “Top-Down” Approach
In a conversation with Dezeen, he says that modern-day architects are considering how Modernism can be a “form of stewardship of the natural environment," as opposed to just in conversation with the landscape through compositional considerations. At the center of Grima’s manifesto is the idea that architecture should no longer have a top-down approach, where materials are selected for their aesthetics and function, but without consideration for their impact on the environment.
Interestingly enough, Mies van der Rohe’s famous Barcelona Pavilion is employed as a primary example of “top-down” architecture here. The materials used in the project – green marble, travertine and onyx – exemplify Modernism’s “skin and bones” appeal at its most raw. But where did they come from? These are questions that will no longer be ignored, according to Grima.
Setting Our Sights on Sustainability
Grima’s manifesto resonates. At Optima, we create built environments with the surrounding natural environment in mind. Beyond just living in visual harmony with the landscape, we’re invested in fostering a more reciprocal relationship.
Our signature vertical landscaping system, featured at properties such as Optima Sonoran Village, Optima Camelview Village, and Optima Kierland, plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment. The system, with self-containing irrigation and drainage, provides a haven for urban wildlife, promotes evaporative cooling, re-oxygenates the air, reduces dust and smog levels, reduces ambient noise, detains stormwater and thermally insulates and shields residents from the desert sun, all of which contributes to a sustainable urban environment.
Meanwhile, Optima Sonoran Village also served as the pilot project for Scottsdale's International Green Construction Code, or IgCC. Having earned full certification from the program, Optima Sonoran Village’s attributes include major building elements consisting of 95 perfect local and recycled content materials; energy efficiency as a result of the high-performing glazing, overhangs, building configurations and exterior shading devices; water resource conservation from plumbing fixtures and excellent indoor environmental quality and reduced material emissions from the materials used in the development.
From building construction and materials, to design details like the salvaged barge wood featured in the lobby at Optima Signature, we’re excited to play our role in ushering in this next era of environmentally-minded Modernism.
Phoenix and Scottsdale, cities sitting shoulder to shoulder in Arizona, are the central and exciting location of several Optima communities, including Optima Biltmore Towers, Optima Sonoran Village, and Optima Camelview Village. And while Phoenix boasts being the vivacious capital of Arizona, and Scottsdale prides itself in being the locus of access and luxury, these two twin cities also share another benefit in common: their proximity to countless other exciting destinations in the state.
To help inspire your next excursion, here are just a few of the best day trips close by:
This is a destination that needs no introduction. The Grand Canyon is just under a two-and-a-half hour drive north out of Phoenix. That’s pretty easy access to one of the world’s premier tourist attractions — a site that attracts over 5 million visitors annually. With its layered bands of red rock revealing millions of years of geological history, there’s really no wrong way to enjoy this immense natural attraction, we recommend the South Rim and the Skywalk for the best view, as well as planning to hike, ride a mule, or whitewater raft for the adventurously inclined.
A day trip to Sedona is well worth the two hour drive south from Phoenix. No doubt the drive down will be a sight to see, too — Sedona is surrounded by red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests. The breathtaking landscape is the perfect setting for outdoor enthusiasts, who will enjoy the numerous trailheads across Red Rock State Park. Whether you’re into an intense ten-mile hike, or something more mild like birdwatching and picnicking, there’s something for everyone. Once you’ve gotten your fair share of the outdoors, take a trip into town to enjoy the vibrant arts scene, New Age shops, and countless spas.
Further proof of all there is to see just outside of Phoenix, Prescott isn’t even a two-hour trip away. There’s so much to do here that you may even end up wanting to stay more than a day. From the historic Whiskey Row downtown, perfect for bar hopping and catching a live music performance, to the many museums worth visiting, there’s an endless list of itinerary items within the city limits alone. And like everywhere else in Arizona, Prescott also boasts an outstanding roster of hiking and outdoor recreation on its perimeter, including Prescott National Forest and Watson Lake.
One of the reasons we were inspired to move to Arizona was our love for the surrounding desert landscape, and that same passion still resonates across our Arizona communities. An iconic landmark in the greater Phoenix area, Camelback Mountain is a prime example of the way nature informs our own designs through its neighboring Optima communities, Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Camelview Village. But Camelback Mountain has its own distinct allure, fostering a wide-reaching and beloved sense of community for many in the area.
Camelback is located in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area between the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix and the town of Paradise Valley, and is named after its distinct shape, which resembles the hump and head of a kneeling camel. The site has long held significance to Native tribes and settlers in the area, and by the early 1900s, there were strong efforts to keep the mountain protected and preserved. The surrounding area saw major development, but in 1965, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater helped secure the higher elevations against development. The area became a Phoenix city park in 1968.
Phoenix offers seven breathtaking mountain summits to climb, and Camelback Mountain has the highest, reaching 2,704 feet to provide the best views in the area. Climbing to the summit is considered a right of passage for many. Hikers can choose from two trails to reach the summit: Echo Canyon and Cholla. Both trails are difficult, with Echo Canyon being the steeper of the two and Cholla being the longer option. Luckily, there are a few less strenuous trail hikes as back-up options, as well. Camelback is the perfect place to experience the vast diversity of desert beauty; from colorful granite, to blooming wildflowers, to local wildlife. And since the trailhead is only 20 minutes away from downtown, there are plenty of places to recharge after a long hike.
There’s a reason why Camelback Mountain is considered one of Phoenix’s Points of Pride; the beauty both on — and off — the mountain top are truly spectacular.
As devout fans of Modernism, at Optima we love to experiment with form and function. That’s how Optima Co-Founder David Hovey Sr. got into sculpture. Combining his love of art with his interest in materials, David Hovey Sr. began manipulating steel to create striking sculptural pieces that play complement to Optima’s architectural spaces. Today, we’re examining one of his sculptures: Curves and Voids.
Like all original Optima sculptures, Curves and Voids can be found across our properties in various colors and sizes, as evidenced above. But what never changes is the form of the piece: Curves and Voids plays with the expression of steel and explores ideas of its potential. This play is demonstrated in grand, sweeping curves that make up the various sculptural components. Meanwhile, voids are laser cut within the sculpture’s steel planes. These holes provide gaps and textures to contrast and juxtapose the sculpture’s curves.
The sweeping curves of Curves and Voids play perfect complement to the stark Modernist lines in our communities. At Optima Sonoran Village’s sculpture walk, Curves and Voids stands boldly expressed in natural Cor-Ten steel. The steel’s raw coloration was chosen so as not to compete with the vibrant colors in the building’s facade and landscaping. Meanwhile, at Optima DCHGlobal’s Whale Bay House in New Zealand, Curves and Voids is supersized in the courtyard, becoming a show stopping statement piece for contemplation.
Whether we’re experimenting with form, function, size or color — at Optima we love to playfully implement sculpture as yet another component of thoughtful design.
As part of our commitment to creating healthy and happy communities, we’re constantly looking for inventive ways to keep our residents entertained, engaged and on the move. In all of our apartment communities, indoor basketball courts help achieve those goals. Integrated into our extensive amenity floors, indoor basketball at Optima helps residents stay healthy while having fun.
Our properties across Illinois and Arizona house their own courts, including 7180 Optima Kierland, Optima Kierland Apartments, Optima Signature, Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Camelview. Basketball courts will also be part of the 40,000 square feet of amenity spaces at our latest project, Optima Lakeview. Each court is designed to seamlessly flow with the Modernist design of all of our spaces. And to accommodate the interests of our residents, many courts are now being striped for pickleball use. Along with being an in-demand recreational amenity, basketball has quite a few health benefits for those interested in playing.
Although many may have played as kids, there are plenty of perks to getting into basketball as an adult. Playing basketball requires agility, strength and stamina, so it naturally builds muscular endurance and healthy bones. It also helps improve balance and coordination and like many other regular physical activities, it boosts heart health. As far as mental benefits, engaging in physical activity releases endorphins and can be a big mood booster, whether you’re playing a quick game or you’re on the court for a few hours.
Our favorite benefit of basketball might have to be the team spirit and communications needed to play the game. We hope that all of our amenity spaces — our indoor courts included — make space for camaraderie and community, especially during a time when many are craving them. From new novices to life-long players, indoor basketball at Optima provides a welcomed escape to relax, play and stay active for our residents.
We enjoy creating communities with amenities to support a well-rounded, vibrant lifestyle. Many of our properties, including Optima Kierland, Optima Sonoran Village, Optima Signature, and the in-development Optima Lakeview include swimming pools as part of our impressive amenity stack. Spending time swimming is the perfect leisurely activity as well as a great fitness option with a wide-ranging array of health benefits. Here are just a few:
Full Body Workout
Water is 800 times more dense than air, and spending 30 minutes in a pool is actually worth the equivalent of 45 minutes doing a similar workout on land. Because of this, swimming is an intensive form of fitness that works your entire body. The activity, which engages arms, legs and core all at once, has a head-to-toe impact that leads to muscle toning, endurance building and strength building.
Lifetime Health Boost
In addition to the external impact, swimming does great things for your internal and overall health. It improves the cardiovascular system, leading to a stronger heart, lungs and circulatory system. This also helps guard against heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as helping to control blood pressure and blood sugar.
Great For Injuries
Because swimming is such a low-impact sport, it’s the perfect fitness option for those experiencing arthritis, injuries or disabilities. While water provides enough resistance against muscles for an effective workout, your buoyancy provides support you won’t find on land. Experts even say that swimming can help reduce pain and improve recovery from injuries.
Positive Mental Impact
Research shows that those who swim regularly experience better sleep at night. In addition to being a restful activity, swimming also serves to boost your mood. By exercising, your body is releasing endorphins and increasing your metabolic rate, which leads to both improved mood levels and improved energy levels.
Whether you’re looking for a regular fitness regimen, recovering for an injury or even looking for a pregnancy-safe workout routine, swimming is a great and healthy option for everyone.
As 2020 comes to a close, we’re taking this moment to reflect and look back on all that’s happened through this unexpected, unprecedented year. From our team, to our projects to Optima as a whole, we’ve learned, grown and thrived. Here are just a few of the highlights:
Projects and Properties
This was a big year of growth for us with many exciting projects. In Arizona, we launched the leaseup of the new 7140 tower at Optima Kierland Apartments, the second apartment tower within the Optima Kierland development. Also within Optima Kierland, 7180 Optima Kierland surpassed its 85% sold milestone.
And in Chicago, our portfolio expanded with the groundbreaking of Optima Lakeview and the approval of Optima Wilmette, two projects we look forward to making future strides with in the coming year.
We were honored to win thirteen awards this year. Our architecture and design were acknowledged with the AIA Chicago Design Excellence Awards for Distinguished Building (Whale Bay House) and the Outstanding Property Award London for Winner in Architectural Design four times over (Whale Bay House, Arizona Courtyard House, 7180 Optima Kierland and Optima Sonoran Village).
Our property management team was recognized with the Best Community & Management Team Tribute Award by the Arizona Multihousing Association.
Meanwhile, our corporate culture was acknowledged with the award for Crain’s Chicago Business Best Places to Work 2020, and AZCentral Top Companies 2020.
To see the full 2020 lineup, visit our awards page.
Throughout the year, we rallied to keep our culture thriving and to ensure our team stayed more connected than ever. We launched our Be Well | Work Well initiative, made up of the Be Well | Work Well Newsletter and new Wellness page within our company intranet , focused on keeping our team well: mentally, emotionally, socially and physically.
We created a new normal and found ways to have fun together, even while apart, through virtual trivia, virtual happy hours supplying cocktail kits and our dueling pianos virtual holiday party. We brought families into the fun, too, with our innovative “Optima Community Garden,” sending seed packages for team members to plant in their home gardens, and with our pumpkin carving contents, sending supplies and holding voting to determine a winner.
We can’t thank our leadership, team members and communities enough for rising to the occasion and making this year special. Going into 2021, we’re excited to continue innovating, growing and achieving together.
We love Scottsdale for many reasons, one of which is its vibrant and bustling arts scene. Home to the Scottsdale Arts District, the city makes its unique voice heard through striking public art such as Jack Knife by Ed Mell. To understand more about the local arts scene and to celebrate its impact on the city our residents call home, today we’re exploring the work and artistry behind Jack Knife.
Jack Knife boldly commands attention at the intersection of Marshall Way and Main Street in Downtown Scottsdale — the center of the Scottsdale Arts District — mere steps away from Optima Sonoran Village. The piece is the perfect introduction to the city’s history and culture, depicting a rider astride a bucking horse modelled after the official city seal. The bronze sculpture, which sits on a high pedestal, stands over eight feet high. Even more notable: Jack Knife is Ed Mell’s first ever large-scale sculpture.
Completed in 1993, Mell says of his work: “Jack Knife has a reverence for the Old West. It is not traditional, but yet it has a traditional theme. The angularity accelerates the power and energy of the rider and horse, more than accurate depiction.” While the piece may have been his first large-scale experimentation, Mell is one of Arizona’s premier artists.
Mell grew up in Phoenix, and his artistic practice is inspired by the natural beauty and wonder of the desert. He works primarily in oil paint, creating natural expressions of the Western landscape that exhibit striking colors and Cubist elements. This bold, graphic style is translated evidently into Jack Knife, and the artists’ passion for Arizona shines through, too.
It’s passionate creations like these that inspire us every day, and make us proud to call Scottsdale Optima’s second home.
Lush, verdant landscapes are a cornerstone of Optima communities. We’ve spent years of research and application honing our landscaping, arriving today at an innovative vertical planting system that incorporates self-containing irrigation and drainage. But just what is irrigation, why is it so important and how did we arrive at this solution? Today, we’re taking a closer look at the history of irrigation.
While our own landscaping research has gone on for decades, the history of irrigation dates back at least 8,000 years. The earliest known systems of irrigation originated in Egypt and Mesopotamia in 6,000 B.C. Fighting against the flooding of the Nile several months each year, ancient civilizations pioneered a technique to divert flood waters to nearby crop fields, thereby utilizing excess flood water for crops that would otherwise be difficult to grow due to lack of resources.
This ancient technique is credited as the basis of agricultural economies and societies across the world. As the process of applying controlled amounts of water to plants at needed intervals, irrigation aids in growing agricultural crops and maintaining vegetation in a way that conserves water, preserves soil nutrients and saves time and energy.
Before the Egyptian and Mesopotamian approach, primitive irrigation likely involved laborers carrying buckets of water from rivers and wells to water their crops. Increased innovation to control water flow where desired included innovations such as irrigation canals, dams, dikes, aqueducts and water storage facilities.
Nowadays, modern irrigation systems have evolved to include reservoirs, tanks and wells, with reservoirs serving to collect water from natural sources such as lakes and rainwater runoff. As our global agricultural output continues to rise, irrigation protects against droughts and famines, ensuring successful and widespread crop yields.
At Optima Kierland Apartments and Optima Sonoran Village, our self-containing irrigation and drainage system enables a palette of vibrantly colored plants at the edge of each floor to grow both up and over the edge of the building, culminating in a beautiful rooftop garden. Thanks to the innovations of many civilizations before us, these gardens are easy to maintain, and a beautiful natural respite for all our residents to enjoy.
This year, health and wellness have been more important than ever. And with self-quarantining and spending more time at home, many have redefined what a healthy home means. Like other shifts in the world, COVID-19 has certainly prompted us to reflect on the impact of design. We’ve seen how Modernism has affected pandemics in the past, but how might it impact our sense of wellness during COVID-19?
To house healing tuberculosis patients, the Paimio Sanatorium was designed to connect its residents to fresh air and the healing qualities of nature. While its setting in Southwestern Finland was ideal for recovery, it’s not a feasible solution for those trying to stay healthy in urban areas. Our buildings bring the outdoors in, connecting residents to nature through green roof gardens, vertical landscaping systems, private terraces and lush common spaces.
Sunshine is another natural remedy for ailing health problems, and the iconic expansive windows found across Modernist practices invites plenty of light inside. From Optima Signature in Chicago, to Optima Kierland Center and Optima Sonoran Village in Scottsdale, our buildings feature floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls, swathing our interiors in light. And for those who may want to more fully soak in the sun, our outdoor amenity spaces, like the grand courtyard promenade at Optima Camelview Village, have plenty of seating amongst resort-style luxury amenities for residents to get their daily dose of Vitamin D.
Minimal and Open
Modernism is known for its minimalist design, where a lack of ornamentation, decorative moldings or elaborate trims are simplified to create a clean aesthetic. Also simplified: floor plans. Modernist architecture is known for its simple, sweeping interiors, taking a “less-is-more” approach to the division of space. At Optima, our large, open floor plans provide bigger and more open spaces, rather than a series of small rooms, allowing people to comfortably spread out and maintain a safe distance.
Whether residents are still self-isolating or just spending more time at home, we know it’s a challenging time to stay healthy and well, both mentally and physically. But we hope that the Modernist sensibilities of our buildings allow for moments of respite throughout the day and better opportunities to focus on wellness.
Achieving work-life balance has taken on new gravity as we shelter-in-place. At Optima, our teams are with you every step of the way to ensure you have a productive workday, and find daily fulfillment and joy in the comfort of your home. Here are just a few of the ways our properties are already optimized for people’s remote working needs:
Distinct Work Zones
One of the biggest challenges when working from home is achieving a healthy separation between work and life. At our multifamily communities, each home is designed to have space for a desk and at-home workspace. With the opportunity to have a dedicated work zone, you’ll be able to create an environment that is conducive to your daily success and that allows you to tackle any challenge.
Connection to Nature
A shelter-in-place order doesn’t mean we have to separate ourselves entirely from the outdoors. It’s important to continue finding sensitive ways to get your daily dose of sunshine. With the integration of the built and natural environment integral to our design sensibilities, all of our communities feature vast outdoor spaces, with many homes offering significant outdoor living spaces. These outdoor spaces are the perfect place to take advantage of weather on a nice day — like having an outdoor picnic on your balcony.
Engaging Digital Programming
Our property management teams are committed as ever to ensuring that our communities and residents stay connected — with one another and with their daily patterns. We’ve been hard at work putting together virtual event series and fitness classes that allow Optima residents to enjoy a full array of digital amenities from the comfort of their own home. Some of this programming includes digital patio workouts with a fitness trainer at Optima Sonoran Village, digital fitness classes with an onsite trainer at Optima Signature and even building-wide movie, trivia and comedy nights at Optima Kierland Apartments.
As we continue to shelter-in-place and practice social distancing, our buildings and our teams are ready to collaborate and come together to make being home even more enjoyable for our communities.
At Optima, we’ve always been dedicated to building communities that provide a balanced lifestyle for our residents. From carefully curated retail partners to an abundance of outdoor space, we thoughtfully incorporate elements that respond to the needs of our residents. With the recent rise in remote working, and in celebration of National Work from Home Week, this week we’re honing in on how residents can best utilize Optima communities to support their remote productivity.
Dedicated, At-Home Work Spaces
Across all of our properties, from Arizona to Illinois, we incorporate a dedicated work-from-home space within each apartment. As we learned earlier this year, curating a distinct work zone at home improves productivity and limits distractions. The designs of our buildings also lend themselves to staying focused. The abundant floor-to-ceiling glass windows in each Optima building invites in plenty of natural light. Studies show that exposure to sunlight helps regulate sleep cycles, and our well-restedness therefore contributes to more satisfied, productive workdays. And the beautiful views in both Arizona and Chicago don’t hurt either.
If ever you need a change of pace from your in-home workspace, our communities offer an abundance of business-centric amenities to meet your every need. Optima Signature, Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Kierland Center all feature on-site conference rooms and business rooms, and the new tower at Optima Kierland Apartments even features private huddle rooms with work spaces. Optima Signature and Optima Sonoran Village also both offer their own on-site business suites.
Celebrating Live-Work-Play Balance
Optima’s on-site retail tenants offer the perfect midday spot, whether it’s to break up your workday or to provide a setting for your next lunch meeting. At Optima Signature, Egg Harbor Cafe provides not only the perfect place for lunch (meetings), but you can meet over breakfast too! Meanwhile, at Optima Sonoran Village, Kaleidoscope Juice is the perfect place for a quick break or a longer breakfast or lunch occasion. Or, for those having a busy day, Optima Signature also boasts onsite concierge and room service, ready to serve all your needs.
At times, work can be stressful, but we’re here to help make each work day easier, more comfortable and more enjoyable.
When Optima expanded to Arizona in 2000, we were enthralled by the new frontier and its unique climate. To this day, we continue to be inspired by the desert landscape — and there’s no better place to indulge that passion and find new inspiration than at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. The gardens, which are located just a short drive from Optima Biltmore Towers in Phoenix, and Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Camelview Village in Scottsdale, are also perfect activity for our residents.
The Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is a 140-acre sprawling wonderland of flora and fauna nestled among the red rocks of the Papago Butte. Visitors can see thousands of species of towering cacti, lush trees, alluring succulents and brilliant flowers from not just Arizona, but all over the world. Overall, 50,000+ plants cover five thematic trails, and the garden is proud to care for 485 rare and endangered species among that number.
The garden was first established back in 1939, when a small but passionate group of Arizonians were compelled to act and preserve the beautiful desert environs. Among them was Swedish botanist Gustaf Starck, who rallied others to the cause with a posted sign reading “Save the Desert.” Eight decades later, Desert Botanical Garden has expanded, thanks to the generous investment and care of many. Alongside its impressive collection of plantlife, the garden also offers specialized tours, special events, seasonal exhibits, concerts, family exhibits and two places to dine: Gertrude’s restaurant and the Patio Cafe.
The Desert Botanical Garden has reopened during COVID-19 with increased safety precautions in place. Tickets must be reserved in advance, but the garden’s limited occupancy amidst its sprawling gardenscape makes it the perfect place for socially distanced fun. Whether you’re looking to reconvene with nature or just while away the day in a beautiful setting, the Desert Botanical Garden is the perfect place to find inspiration and relaxation.
Artwork at Optima is a huge part of our love of design, and what makes our spaces special at every turn. Recently, we sat down with Ellison Keomaka, an artist whose work appears throughout some of our Arizona properties, to discuss his process, his sources of inspiration and his relationship with Optima.
Tell us a bit about your background. Where does your passion for art stem from? How did you first get started as an artist?
I believe everyone is creative in their own way, and mine happens to be visual arts. I’ve had many interests and endeavors over the years, but I always enjoyed doing my own thing and set out pretty young to start my artistic career. I started off drawing vehicles, eventually navigating away from that and into comic-style artwork. Every piece paves the way for new ideas in the next creation. My style has changed quite a bit over the years and evolved with my experiences in life.
What are your preferred mediums? How do 2-D and 3-D spaces interact within your pieces?
I used to be very into realism, and I used a lot of airbrush and classic techniques. As an artist, I wanted to use more of the material found in the world around me. From soil found in distant countries to fabrics found at a craft store, I’m always searching for the next textural combination that makes something interesting. It’s fun to see these materials, textures and artifacts and make them come together in a 2-D space.
An example would be my use of vintage magazines and articles. In one of the Optima paintings, — Present Future Past — there are magazine articles from 1938, a dishtowel, watchband and wooden cutouts pressed into the piece.
How does color play a part in your work?
In my earlier works, there were more dark colors. As I developed my style, I recognized the value of color in changing human emotion. When you look at specific colors or shapes, they cause you to feel something or spark inspiration. All of that makes color an infinite playground for an artist to create.
How did you get involved with Optima?
Around 2016, I was eating lunch across from Optima Kierland while it was under construction — and it just looked so wildly different from anything else in Phoenix. I enjoy architecture, and Optima’s aesthetic caught my eye. Fast forward, and I ended up moving in there. They were looking for resident events, and I offered to do an art show; I hosted three across Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Kierland Apartments. The Optima team saw my work, and we started having conversations about commissioning pieces for 7180 Optima Kierland.
I was fortunate to have full creative reign on the layouts of each piece, which allowed me to take creative risks and challenge myself. I would consider the Optima series of paintings to be my best body of work to represent myself because each one is unique and tailor-made to fit in those spaces.
Give us some details on a favorite piece of yours at Optima. What was the inspiration behind that particular piece? How does it fit into the space at Optima?
Suppose I had to pick a favorite piece —which is always a challenge — I resonate most with Present Future Past. It has a real impact on the viewer with the contrast between the bright blue on the bottom and the upper half's antique design. While the fluorescent pink line emits excitement of the future, the top presents a juxtaposition of a rugged, forgotten past. This painting aims to inspire us to be present, calm and grateful for occupying this time and space.
Keomaka’s color-filled, vibrant artwork mirrors the same inspired emotions that we search for in our built environment. As with all of the artwork that adorns our walls, his work tells a series of unique stories that speak to everyone who passes through our spaces. Optima certainly wouldn’t be the same without them.
We believe that building community extends beyond architecture and design. Community is a crucial component to how we design our properties — ensuring that residents and neighbors alike feel more connected through what we do. In support of this, we created the Optima Connect program, which encourages truly holistic community connections.
Optima Connect is a program that offers exclusive benefits and discounts at local businesses. Like our Optimized Service program, the goal of Optima Connect is to provide an added everyday convenience that brings ease, comfort and joy to our residents. The program also serves to bolster local businesses and ramp up support, creating a friendly community ecosystem.
Through Optima Connect at Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Kierland Apartments, residents can enjoy exclusive and luxury benefits such as BOGO tickets at Ballet Arizona, discounted fitness classes and up to 20% off at nearby restaurants — just to name a few. To peruse the full list of Optima Connect benefits available to Optima Sonoran Village residents, visit here.
Supporting community growth and connection amongst our residents and neighbors is something we care deeply about at Optima. As Jamie Springer, Regional Manager in Arizona, explains:
It’s really made us a stronger part of the community. It’s a dual partnership that gives discounts to our residents and helps promote local businesses. We seek Optima Connect partners for events — especially virtual events right now, like mixology and cooking classes — to introduce residents to nearby businesses. We want residents to feel connected to the community outside of our buildings and create a neighborhood feel with places they can walk to.
From the Optima Connect program, to the careful and thoughtful selection process that goes into choosing retail tenants at our properties, we know that our relationship to the spaces around us deepens our sense of belonging.
Though 68% of all US households own a pet, finding a condo or apartment that allows pets can be quite the treasure hunt. And even when pets are allowed, there’s still a big difference between having a pet policy and being pet-friendly.
To overcome this challenge for renters and owners, pet-friendly buildings are including additional amenities or offerings that welcome and celebrate the community of pet-lovers and their furry companions. Particularly in urban areas, these pet-friendly inclusions become crucial to the convenience and happiness of animal owners and their pets.
At Optima, we constantly push ourselves to innovate and include exceptional features that elevate the resident experience, from installing pickleball courts to carefully choosing retail tenants that meet our residents needs. Over the past few years, improving the resident experience has also meant amping up our amenity offerings for oft-overlooked residents: our four-legged friends. Here’s a closer look at pet-friendly amenities at Optima.
Optima Sonoran Village
Situated in the heart of urban Scottsdale, Optima Sonoran Village makes the optimal home for pet-owners with the inclusion of a community pet park. Beyond this dedicated space, Optima Sonoran Village has several acres of open space with walking paths, making it the perfect place for a morning dog walk. Each apartment at Optima Sonoran Village also features a private terrace, so your pet can get some fresh air at any time of day, without you even having to leave home.
Optima Kierland Apartments
At Optima Kierland Apartments, our pet-friendly amenities at each tower include a dog park and pet spa. Residents and their pet companions can also make use of the sprawling green space that surrounds the properties, where getting exercise for your pet never requires going far — and even better, each unit’s private terrace offers outdoor space right within the bounds of your own home. The community even features a pet spa, so after a day of play, you can make sure your furry companion comes back to your apartment sparkly clean.
At Optima Signature, our package of pet-friendly extras includes both indoor and outdoor dog parks as well as grooming facilities. We’ve even gone so far as to choose retail tenant GoodVets for our community here -- a choice made specifically to respond to residents’ needs. Beyond on-site pet-friendly amenities, Optima Signature’s proximity to the riverfront and lakefront make it easy to take an adventure into the city with your pet.
Particularly in urban areas, we recognize that finding the perfect space for your pets to thrive can be tough, so we strive to make our residents’ lives easier and more enjoyable — for people and pups alike!
Recently, we explained what exactly makes up Modern furniture and how to spot it. But what if you’re looking to bring a bit of Modernism into your own space? Considering our own affinity for Modern pieces and design, we love seeing the style applied across homes, condominiums or apartments. So if you’re looking for tips on modern design for your home, here’s where to start:
Form Follows Function
Modernism’s top rule is “form follows function,” essentially meaning that any decor or furnishings should reflect its intended purpose. Anything that doesn’t have a practical purpose can be eliminated, so Modern spaces are often very minimal. However, Modernism also celebrates the expression of form. Le Corbusier lounges or Barcelona chairs all embrace unique shapes and features in bright, joyful colors. Look for pieces that explore color, textures, and material, all while staying functional.
Bring the Outside Inside
Modernist architecture celebrates expansive windows and natural light, as do Modern interiors. Keep windows unobstructed when possible, and keep any blinds or curtains minimal in color. If you feel inspired by the green space at Optima, get a few houseplants to add pops of green. Or if your seasonal weather cooperates, get creative with container gardening.
Contemporary vs Modern
Contemporary and Modern are often confused when dealing with interior design, but it’s important to note the different. Contemporary style isn’t attached to any specific era; it changes as time evolves. So Contemporary design would currently refer to anything in demand in 2020. Whereas Modern design specifically refers to a movement in art, design, architecture and of course, furniture.
If you want to hunt for Modern pieces to add to your own home, here are a few shop recommendations to check out. Or even better, peruse your local thrift store or furniture restoration shop for truly authentic Modern furniture and decor.
With every project, we ask ourselves how the natural land around us influences, affects and works in tandem with the structures we build. Seeking to holistically integrate the natural and built environments led us to develop our next-generation vertical landscaping system. The lush green element, utilized in many of our Arizona properties, is a cornerstone feature of Optima communities, a key component to our sustainability initiatives and so much more.
On its surface level, our signature vertical landscaping system serves to enhance the natural beauty of our communities. The lush verdure enables a palette of vibrantly colored plants at the edge of each floor to grow both up and over the edge of the building. This creates beautiful, private terrace gardens for each unit in buildings like Optima Camelview Village, Optima Kierland Center, and Optima Sonoran Village. The intense greenery also plays bold juxtaposition to our building’s facade, where concrete and glass work in harmony to celebrate the relationship between the built and natural environment, with glass blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor, home and garden.
Functional, Sustainable Beauty
Our signature vertical landscaping system isn’t just for aesthetic value — it plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment. The system, with self-containing irrigation and drainage, provides a haven for urban wildlife, promotes evaporative cooling, re-oxygenates the air, reduces dust and smog levels, reduces ambient noise, detains stormwater and thermally insulates and shields residents from the desert sun, all of which contributes to a sustainable urban environment. Residents also experience the direct impact of being surrounded by nature, with the vertical landscaping system serving as a connection to nature and added source of privacy.
Like all good design, our vertical landscaping system is a natural study in form and function. We’re proud to pioneer a system that contributes to the natural beauty of the environment, and helps preserve it, too.
At Optima, our appreciation and curiosity about materials — and how those materials are expressed — extends beyond architecture and into the artistic medium of sculpture. The sculpture garden at Optima Sonoran Village is home to several original sculptures by Optima founder David Hovey Sr., and exemplifies how art can influence and impact the space it resides within.
The garden includes five original David Hovey Sr. sculptures: Curves and Voids, Silver Fern, Triangles, Intersecting Arches and Duo. Originally created as a large and monumental sculpture, Duo is crafted out of steel to create a striking silhouette alluding to a man and a woman gazing at one another. Meanwhile, Curves and Voids expresses steel and its potential through grand, sweeping curves. The voids are laser cut within the sculpture’s steel planes; the holes provide gaps and textures that contrast and play off of the sculpture’s curves.
Each original sculpture within the garden is just one of many variations of a design. David Hovey Sr. often experiments with color, size and orientation within his sculpture designs to breathe new life into the same form, placing these iterations across Optima communities. At the sculpture garden at Optima Sonoran Village, Hovey Sr. chose to use Corten steel rather than coat the sculptures in bold hues. He did so to ensure that rather than competing with the building’s vibrant facade, the sculptures would complement the community. Of the five sculptures, Curves & Voids is large-scale, and the other four remain of modest size.
We invite anyone who visits Optima Sonoran Village to take a stroll through the sculpture garden, to immerse themselves in the art form and to discover how sculpture can transform the space it’s within
Home to Optima Biltmore Towers and a rapidly evolving city skyline, Phoenix is the vivacious and sprawling city capital of Arizona. Today we’re diving deep into why we love Phoenix, its endless pockets to explore and its bustling arts scene.
Arts and Culture
Phoenix is thriving in the arts and culture arena, with classic spots like the Phoenix Art Museum whose collection spans from the Renaissance era to the present day and the Heard Museum, showcasing American Indian art, to a burgeoning underground arts scene. Phoenix’s newest walkable arts district, Roosevelt Row, features urban murals, galleries from up-and-coming artists and is the home of First Fridays art extravaganza, a once-monthly neighborhood art crawl.
We’re proud to put down roots in a city that has inspired Modernist architectural masters like Frank Lloyd Wright. Taliesin West is a cornerstone piece of Modernist architecture, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as his winter home and school, and the now-home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The city is also home to the futuristic desert home, Cosanti, designed by Wright’s seminal student, Italian architect Paolo Soleri.
R&R - Both Natural and Manmade
Phoenix also boasts unparalleled access to the natural gems of the Arizona landscape, with options like Desert Botanical Garden, Camelback Mountain (which is also right next to Optima Sonoran Village) and Papago Park all closeby to the urban oasis. When it comes to manufactured R&R, Phoenix is known too for its lush golf courses and luxury spas, where you can while away the day and recenter.
As we continue to expand in Arizona, we look forward to discovering more in our favorite places, and learning about new communities, too. Stay tuned for more neighborhood spotlights on our other Optima communities.
In the face of adversity, nothing is more inspiring than seeing everyone come together and get creative pursuing at-home health and wellness initiatives. As we continue to explore new ways to stay active and entertained, here are a few of our favorite ways to practice wellness at home:
Take a Digital Fitness Class
Keeping up your fitness routine — or establishing a new habit — is a great way to kickstart your morning and get those endorphins pumping. When it comes to digital fitness classes to help guide you, the options are endless. Good Housekeeping recently shared their all-encompassing list of 25+ free live stream workout classes to try while quarantined, including high-intensity boxing, toning dance parties, yoga, meditation and more. Our own Optima communities are hosting classes too — Optima Signature is putting on virtual fitness classes like pilates and core fitness through Chitown Trainer, while Optima Sonoran Village organized a patio workout series via the building’s Instagram.
Organize an Online Meet-Up
Social distancing still allows for plenty of room to get creative with your social gatherings. Making the time to keep up with friends and family is a great way to boost your mood — and theirs. The increasingly popular video conferencing platform Zoom allows up to 100 people in one meeting. Try gathering your coworkers for a digital happy hour, or getting your friends together for a creative themed night, such as a Chopped-inspired cooking challenge or a Bob Ross-style paint along.
Cultivate Your Green Thumb
Satisfy your spring fever and brighten up your home with your own personal garden. Gardening is a meditative task, and the result is lush greenery that is proven to boost your spirit. At Optima, many of our units feature private terraces, which are the perfect place for you and your new plant friends to soak up the sun. But even without an outdoor space, the rising container gardening trend allows anyone to have a green thumb at home. To help our residents get started, the property management team at Optima Sonoran Village even delivered a succulent plant to each unit.
As we continue to spend our days at home, finding ways to stay grounded and focusing on our wellness is as important as ever. Stayed tuned for more Optima features on at-home initiatives.
When it was developed, Optima Sonoran Village had the privilege of being the pilot project for Scottsdale’s International Green Construction Code, an alternative to LEED fully managed by local municipalities, and was one of the first projects in the world certified under IgCC. To understand the true breadth of its merit, we’re taking a deep dive into the IgCC: its history, its mission and its modern day impact.
History of IgCC
IgCC was first conceptualized by the International Code Council (ICC), a nonprofit association that provides a wide range of building safety solutions including product evaluation, accreditation, certification, codification and training. ICC also develops model codes and standards that are used around the world to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures.
ICC realized that there was a significant gap in construction in the way of a mandatory baseline of codes that would address green commercial construction. This kind of regulatory framework was becoming an increasingly appealing concept, with many local and state jurisdictions already exploring their own potential “substitute codes.”
In response to the call, ICC collaborated with cooperating sponsors - the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASTM International, ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) to help get the code passed. And in 2010, ICC established The International Green Construction Code™ (IgCC) to provide model code regulations that promote safe and sustainable construction.
IgCC “provides the design and construction industry with the single, most effective way to deliver sustainable, resilient, high-performance buildings.” Support of the IgCC promotes a new era of building design and construction that includes environmental health and safety as code minimums.
Benefits of certification under IgCC abound; IgCC certification includes measures that result in better indoor environments, lower impact on natural resources, better neighborhood connections and improved walkability, increased resilience to natural disasters and climate change, resource consumption/management and service interruptions.
IgCC and Optima
IgCC operates as a code that can be easily adapted by public or private entities, allowing government jurisdictions to adopt it and save themselves the labor of creating their own code. Arizona took advantage of this opportunity, adopting the IgCC, which then took effect in January of 2017.
It was at that time that Optima Sonoran Village became a pilot project for IgCC in Arizona.
Optima Sonoran Village IGCC attributes include major building elements consisting of 95 perfect local and recycled content materials; energy efficiency as a result of the high-performing glazing, overhangs, building configurations and exterior shading devices; water resource conservation from plumbing fixtures and excellent indoor environmental quality and reduced material emissions from the materials used in the development. Because of its environmentally-friendly construction, Optima Sonoran Village passed muster and was one of the first buildings in the world to earn certification.
Optima will continue to push the boundaries of building in pursuit of new and sustainable ways to contribute to our built environment. ICC is an association that will continue to do the same—we look forward to a world in which green building is commonplace.
Design permeates every corner of our communities. Across our multi-family properties, we utilize furniture designed by globally renowned Knoll to craft spaces that are sleek, modern and comfortable. Not just purveyors of elegant and stunning design, Knoll also has a history entangled with our own, beginning in 1938.
Knoll was founded in 1938 by Hans G. Knoll, a German immigrant to the United States. Familiar with the seminal Bahaus School of Design and Modernist masters like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, he founded Knoll on the belief that modern architects would need modern furnishings.
Later, Hans Knoll engaged with (and then literally got engaged to) Florence Schust, who studied with Mies van der Rohe at the Armour Institute in Chicago, and worked in the architectural offices from Gropius and Breuer in Boston. Her understanding of Modernist architecture, and the Bauhaus and Walter Gropius himself, transformed the Knoll approach to furniture design, placing new focus on offering objects that represented design excellence, technological innovation and mass production.
Their strong vision attracted collaborators, such as Isamu Noguchi, who contributed to a collection of furnishings now heralded as classics in the pantheon of modern design. With a repertoire of pieces spanning including the Wassily chair, the Barcelona chair, the Tulip chair; over 40 Knoll designs can be found in the permanent design collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
As seminal collaborators with the Modernist architecture discipline, Knoll is a natural fit for our modern spaces. Their executive designs embody elegance, craftsmanship and emblematic details across seating, tables and desks. The thoughtful and artistic creations of Knoll bring expansive history, elevated design and of course, comfort, to our communities.
Home to Optima Camelview Village and Optima Sonoran Village, Downtown Scottsdale is a locus of access, spanning from arts, culture, shopping and nature. Here are just a few of our favorite spots:
Nextdoor neighbor to Optima Sonoran Village, Fashion Square is an upscale, contemporary shopping hub. The Square features luxury shopping, dining and entertainment unmatched by anything else in Arizona. High-scale brands include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Bottega Venetta, Saint Laurent and more. Scottsdale Fashion Square is also host to exclusive events and unparalleled guest amenities. The multi-level mall is the perfect place to while away the hours on a shopping spree, or even just window shopping.
Arts and Culture
Scottsdale is home to a bustling arts scene, with an abundance of cultural institutions, museums and galleries calling the area their home. Scottsdale Arts welcomes residents and visitors to experience performing and visual arts from around the world, with programming that spans far beyond being just a theater or museum. Meanwhile, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a premier collection of modern works in art, design and architecture. Other specialized locales include the Scottsdale Historical Museum, complete with one-room schoolhouse, and the Fiesta Bowl Museum, dedicated entirely to college football memorabilia.
Dining, Drinking and More
Residents of our communities don’t have to look far to find a bite to eat. On-site at Optima Sonoran Village, Kaleidoscope Juice provides a boost with delicious organic juice and coffee drinks. And just a short walking distance away, the vibrant Downtown Scottsdale dining scene brings flavors to satiate any taste palette.
The Great Outdoors
With Arizona set in such a gorgeous landscape, it’s only natural that there are bountiful parks and outdoor recreation areas to explore. Scottsdale offers immediate sweeping views of Camelback Mountain with Echo Canyon Trailhead just steps from Optima Sonoran Village, gorgeous greenery at Camelback Golf Course and the Phoenician Golf Course, and just down the road in bordering Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden provides a peek at desert vegetation.
As we continue to expand in Arizona, we look forward to discovering more in our favorite places, and learning about new communities, too. Stay tuned for more neighborhood spotlights on our other Optima communities.
As 2019 comes to a close, we reflectively look back on all that’s happened throughout a busy and exciting year. Our team, projects and Optima as a whole have experienced tremendous growth over the last twelve months. Here are just a few of the highlights:
Our team was honored to win five awards, including AIA Chicago Divine Detail award for Optima Sonoran Village, Architecture MasterPrize and Architizer A+ Finalist Award for Arizona Courtyard House, American Architecture Award for Whale Bay House and Build Magazine’s Luxury Urban Housing Designer of the Year.
Projects and Properties
This was a big year for development, construction, leasing and more.
In Arizona, we completed construction and leased up Optima Sonoran Village Phase III, the fifth and final tower at Optima Sonoran Village. 7120 Optima Kierland sold out – and was the fastest selling community in the Valley. We launched sales at 7180 Optima Kierland and are already over 50% sold. We also began construction on both 7140 and 7180 Optima Kierland, both slated for completion in 2020. We also purchased new land in Scottsdale to develop new Optima communities.
In Illinois, we leased up 100% of our commercial and retail space at Optima Signature including business suites. We also purchased new land in Chicago and the North Shore for new developments.
We also launched Optimized ServiceTM, a next-level white-glove approach to our concierge experience.
Working across our entire organization, we formalized our purpose statement and core values to reflect our growth and inspire our path forward. We volunteered: we spent the day with Habitat for Humanity in both AZ and IL, cleaned up the Skokie Lagoons in IL, and worked with animals at Amy’s Farm Sanctuary in AZ. We had fun: we enjoyed axe throwing, bowling, go karting, beaches, barbeques, concerts and high tea. We also learned: our team attended the Metropolitan Planning Council lunch, the TCN Women in the Forefront Luncheon, the Goldie Gala, the Chicago Build Expo and NAA Apartmentalize.
We can’t thank our leadership, team members and supporters enough for such a fantastic year. As we look towards 2020, we look forward to the new year to come, new milestones to pass and new ways to innovate across our upcoming projects.
Across all of our projects and properties, we believe amenities are essential to building wellness-focused, holistic spaces. From our single-family homes to our multi-family residences, we carefully curate our outdoor and indoor amenities to reflect these values. One of our favorite applications is utilizing our rooftop areas, particularly in our multi-family residences. Although rooftop gardens and green spaces have existed since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, new technologies have allowed us to expand into sophisticated, expansive systems of features. Optima began using green roofs in Chicago back in the early 1980s, and have evolved our practice to include both green space and amenities throughout our properties in Arizona and Illinois.
One of our favorite aspects of moving out to Arizona was creating outdoor spaces that celebrated and embraced the desert atmosphere. Our Arizona rooftop amenities include heated pools, built-in seating areas, spas,cold plunges, rooftop running tracks, outdoor yoga studios, entertaining spaces with barbecues and fire pits, and of course, panoramic mountain views. At Optima Sonoran Village in particular, we maximized the small footprint of the building to offer incredible views of Camelback mountain and to create socializing space for residents.
With state-of-the-art features and unparalleled views of the surrounding environments, our rooftop spaces across our Arizona projects create the perfect backdrop for time spent outside with loved ones.
Despite the cold Chicago winters, our projects within the city still take advantage of their rooftop space for dynamic city views and amenities for our residents to enjoy. With outdoor heated swimming pools, cabanas and bars, outdoor saunas and steam rooms, outdoor terraces, fire pits, herb gardens, dog parks and outdoor children’s play areas, both Optima Chicago Center and Optima Signature feature plenty of enticing areas and activities.
Our building amenities are an integral step in our process of creating functional, beautiful and welcoming spaces, and in utilizing our rooftops, we extend our creativity into designing desirable, innovative outdoor space.
The usage of terraces dates back 12,000 years, evolving over the millennium to be the sophisticated components of urban architecture that they are today.
A hallmark of Optima properties is our integration of the built environment with the natural. Oftentimes, we employ terraces—level platforms incorporated into buildings that allow for plantlife to thrive—that allow our buildings, and their residents, to live in harmony with the surrounding landscape. The usage of terraces is one that dates back for over 12,000 years, evolving over the millennium to be the sophisticated components of urban architecture that they are today.
Terraces of Ancient Times
The word terrace is derived from terra, the Latin word for earth. The technique has been in use for over 12,000 years, first utilized as an ancient farming method in hilly regions. Agricultural terracing involved cutting the land into a series of successively receding flat platforms, much like steps, to allow for more effective farming, by decreasing erosion and surface runoff and increasing the effectiveness of irrigation.
In 9800 BC, ancient civilizations realized that they could adapt this technique to buildings, and they began to add terraces to their homes and other domestic structures. This first usage was seen across the globe, from the Middle East to the Pacific Islands. The most famous interpretation is undeniably King Nebuchadnezzar’s Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Although no actual proof of its existence has been found, depictions show an ascending series of tiered gardens abundant with plantlife, complete even with a waterfall.
Thousands of years later, from 3000 BC - 600 BC, Mesopotamians grew gardens atop ziggurats, terraced religious temples that allowed for religious spaces to become placed ever higher. The structures were placed upon many layered platforms, and it’s believed that ziggurats were what inspired the Biblical parable The Tower of Babel.
Terraces continued to be integrated into homes. Around 1500 AD, Venice adopted terrace design to the tops of their homes, called altanas. Altanas were private, slat-floored roofs. They started out as a place to hang laundry out to dry, but continue to be used today as social spaces.
Terraces in the Modern Age
Following the progression of altanas as a place to socialize, people began more and more to use the terrace as a location to congregate in privacy. Private rooftop and per-unit terraces became luxury amenities in the 1920s, when building height began to increase due to the adoption of the elevator. At that time, terraces become a status of wealth, allowing for privacy, fresh air and separation from the increasing bustle of life on city-level.
Today, the use of terraces continues to flourish, finding increased purpose and urgency in response to population growth and a changing environmental climate. They provide private places to reconvene with nature, away from the bustle of the city. Terraces also create sustainable and contributive space, by providing thermal insulation, solar shading to mitigate air pollution, increased biodiversity and enhanced quality of life.
At Optima, we incorporate terraces to create private social space, to integrate nature into our communities through our signature hanging gardens, and to contribute to our sustainability practices at many of our properties, including Optima Camelview Village, Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Kierland. Terraces at Optima serve as outdoor living space, connecting the outdoor and indoor for a seamless living experience. From agricultural beginnings, the terrace stays true to its roots, allowing us to find harmony with nature.
In a recent New York Times article, author Karrie Jacobs wrote that the “hard barriers between the designed environment and the natural one are softening — maybe for good.”
Jacobs went on to say, “Designers today are rebalancing the relationship between architecture and nature, with the goal of increasing the quality of life, especially in urban settings.”
The NYTimes article features several new and innovative works by global architects who are designing to fuse outdoor and indoor, with structures that are both influenced by and have influence on their environment. We love to see the innovation taking place throughout the architecture world, and the continued conversation surrounding how design can evolve to appreciate nature.
From the beginning, our work at Optima has celebrated this fundamental connection between design and nature as a way of enhancing the human experience. Since our founding in the late 70s, we have been utilizing Modernist design to create homes that are an extension of their environment and integrate nature into the lives of those that live in them.
One of our first residences, Sandy Knoll, demonstrated how modular housing could integrate a home into a steep, challenging wooded knoll. What resulted was a beautiful home that preserved the integrity and grace of its site, with mature trees and local Illinois vegetation creating the views out of glass-paneled walls.
Since then, we have continuously challenged ourselves to evolve new ways of incorporating nature into our design. Green space has always been a large component to the communities that we build, and our move to Arizona has only deepened our intimate understanding of landscaping.
Our desert dwellings incorporate the elevation, vegetation and climate of the desert into every facet of design, from bridged courtyards to the materials and colors used for each home’s exterior. Glass curtainwalls also provide uninterrupted, panoramic views of the sweeping landscape, so that the mountains of the desert feel a part of each home.
In our multifamily work, we incorporate the Optima vertical landscaping system to create protection, privacy and beauty. For us, lush landscaping vertically and horizontally across our communities is an integral part of creating connection - a connection that is both physically inviting and spiritually inviting, as our design seeks to connect people with their surrounding environment.
We look forward to the future, to constantly pushing the boundaries and exploring how to further unify the built and natural environment. We’re excited that the work we do is part of a larger conversation in the architecture world and can’t wait to see what we, and others, do next for architecture and for the earth.
Our desert dwellings homes serve as laboratories in which we are able to test our tastes and stretch the boundaries of our thinking.
Optima’s residential work goes back to 1982, when Sheridan Elm in Winnetka, IL first allowed us to challenge the status quo. Sandy Knoll and Ravine Bluff followed, each an exploration of the steel-and-glass Modernist aesthetic on our own terms. Ultimately, however, it was our geographic leap to designing homes in the Arizona desert that drew our practice, and design, into a new realm. Our desert dwellings serve as laboratories in which we are able to test our tastes and stretch the boundaries of our thinking.
A New Frontier
In moving out to Arizona in the early 2000s, our intention was to build in a physical environment that was drastically different than our Chicago beginnings. Our team, led by David Hovey Jr., needed to utilize the outdoor space year-round, an interesting new challenge in comparison to Midwest seasons. Over the years, our desert homes have included Shadow Caster, Cloud Chaser, Vanishing Rain, and Sterling Ridge. While our Illinois residences were straight-forward, functionalist modular builds, the Desert Homes are deepened and complexified by the multi-layered and defined spaces within.
Our desert residences also allowed us to test changes in traditional components of Optima architecture, like our all-glass facades. Traditionally, transparency into such a hot region is ineffective for temperature control. However we were able to experiment with landscaping and solar screening that would help to shield our structures from direct sun and subsequent heat, while still allowing seamless desert views. We also discovered new methods of landscaping, creating shallow and bridged beds, as well as self-irrigating planter boxes, in order to create the vibrant verdure of the landscaping seen today at Optima Camelview Village, Optima Sonoran Village and 7160 Optima Kierland.
A New Way of Seeing
With a new office in Arizona, we were able to utilize current technology to form a project flow for both areas. About this time in 2001, technology was improving from an architecture standpoint; things were moving from a 2-D CAD design system into a 3-D building information modeling system. This allowed us to communicate effectively through our offices, helped our executive team take on more responsibility and started the process for multi-family projects in Arizona.
Part of this expansion in Arizona was the introduction of Optima DCHGlobal, which acted as another laboratory for some of the processes we envisioned for large-scale buildings, especially with the transformation from 2-D design into 3-D BIM systems. The vision for Optima DCHGlobal was to create a customizable, flexible and standardized system, which resulted in additional desert dwellings, Relic Rock and Arizona Courtyard House. Through our desert laboratories, we have explored not only how to create beautiful spaces, but how to make them sustainable and adaptable across all types of geographic environments.
The discoveries that we make through our desert dwellings don’t exist in isolation. With each new home, we uncover more of what makes our design uniquely us, and how to create our vision in the best way possible, so that we can bring it to each and every project that we undertake, no matter the type of home or type of terrain.
It’s no secret that we love color. We believe that color, like art, brings a new dimension to the beautiful spaces that we design. That’s why the colorful and surrealist work of the Spanish painter, Joan Miró, is a natural fit to enliven the walls of our communities.
The Life of Joan Miró
Joan Miró was born in 1893 in the seaside town of Barcelona. He grew up influenced by the beauty and culture of his city, and surrounded by the arts with a watchmaker father and goldsmith mother. His began drawing as a young child, though he diverted from his true calling when he went to business school for college. After school, Miró worked as a clerk, but quickly found his way back to art, evolving through several styles and artists’ circles and leaving an influential mark in his wake.
The Art of Joan Miró
Miró’s early work was inspired by Vincent van Goh and Paul Cezanne. By 1919 and his first trip to Paris, Miró began to dabble in geometric, patterned art inspired by the Cubists. In the early 1920s, Miró began to draw inspiration from Sigmund Freud and the Marxists, joining the ranks of the groundbreaking surrealists with work marked by lines, organic shapes and color. Miró himself once said, “I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.”
We are proud to enliven our interior spaces with the art of Joan Miró, and are deeply moved by the power of his works and words. Miró’s work adorns the walls of a handful of units at Optima Sonoran Village, playing off the lively interiors and lush outside landscape. Like Miró, we too, try to apply colors, and art, to shape the beautiful spaces that we design.