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Optima Leases Up Signature Tower Suites As Coworking Continues Its Rise

An Optima Signature business suite, 220 East Illinois St.

The well-publicized troubles of WeWork have not put a damper on coworking in Chicago. Amid signs the sector will continue growing over the next few years, Optima officials said Wednesday that the company leased all 22 furnished office suites at its Optima Signature tower in Streeterville.

The 57-story, 490-unit apartment building at 220 East Illinois St. opened in June 2017. Early last year, Optima debuted the office suites, which are open to both residents and nonresidents, and range in size from 194 SF to more than 1K SF.

“The fact that the office suites at Optima Signature leased in under a year shows our shared office experience resonated with the growing number of professionals who work remotely in this area,” Optima CEO David Hovey said.

Hovey said the suites are a great amenity for residents, allowing them to have a true office environment within their own building, and nonresidents can work just steps from Michigan Avenue, as well as access the Signature tower’s amenities. Rents range from $1K to $2,800 per month.

Suite users include tech startups and the Chicago office of an international publication, Optima officials said.

Steven DeLuca, a building resident and real estate company principal, initially leased space from a national coworking provider when he moved to Chicago a few years ago. But in 2019, he switched to a Signature one-desk suite, then upgraded to a larger one so he could bring in out-of-town clients for meetings.

“Having my office downstairs from my home is an added convenience that promotes the work-life balance I value,” he said.

The amount of downtown Chicago office space devoted to coworking is expected to keep rising, Crain’s Chicago Business reported this week, citing a new study by commercial real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank. The firm forecasts that coworking providers will occupy 9M SF by 2023, or nearly triple the space occupied today.