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Optima Signature Residential Tower Turned Into A Community Resource For Streeterville

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Optima Signature Exterior
The exterior of Optima Signature at 220 East Illinois St.

Optima Inc. wants to make Optima Signature, its new Streeterville residential tower, into a communal space both for residents and the surrounding neighborhood. The Glencoe, Illinois-based firm took another step toward that goal this week when it signed a lease with Egg Harbor Cafe, a breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant. Expected to open this fall, it will be the first downtown Chicago location for the brand.

Egg Harbor will occupy a 5K SF space on the upper Illinois Street plaza, close to Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River, and offer outdoor seating that overlooks one of the downtown’s few cul-de-sacs, a street with very little traffic, Optima President Tara Hovey said.

“We wanted to create a community within a community, and Egg Harbor has a big following that will help activate and energize our public plaza, which we designed to be an urban oasis, a place that provides people with respite and a breath of fresh air.”

Located at 220 East Illinois St., the 57-story tower opened in June 2017, and has 490 apartments, now 98% leased, along with 60K SF of retail and professional space.

“There are many young families in the building, and Egg Harbor will be a place that is accessible, one that they can frequent regularly, instead of just going there on special occasions,” Hovey said.

And this corner of Streeterville is not just a residential neighborhood. The surrounding blocks include big employment centers such as NBC Tower and the University of Chicago’s Gleatcher Center. Optima Signature also includes furnished office suites, located on the Grand Mezzanine and seventh floors, that range from 200 SF to 720 SF. Hovey said a downstairs restaurant provides these businesses with a critical amenity.

“They need to have a place where they can meet clients for breakfast.”

Optima enhanced the building’s community atmosphere by setting aside 12K SF for The Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile, a California-based school, and designed the remaining retail lineup to make neighborhood residents into frequent visitors.

The other retailers provide a range of services, and include GoodVets Streeterville, a full-service veterinarian that operates a 2K SF facility, and Runaway, a 4K SF conditioning fitness studio. Bedazzled Nails & Spa will open a 1,500 SF salon later this spring. The company also just signed up a juice bar for the last retail space available.

“All of these retailers are big draws for everyone in the community,” Hovey said.