Blogging the Burbs: Optima Verdana in Wilmette

This blog has a Category and a Tag for every Chicago suburb we’ve visited to check out a tower crane. We don’t have that many. Adventures to the suburbs are fun, and we’d love to take more, so let us know if you’re working on, commuting past, or living near a construction site with a crane, and we’ll get to them as soon as we can. (Also let us know where to grab breakfast.)

I did that thing I sometimes do where I go to a suburb and seek out tower cranes. Except I knew about this one already, thanks to the fine folks at Central Contractors Service. They let me know a couple months back that they had erected tower crane in Wilmette. A quick UP-N Metra ride up there drops you off right in the middle of the construction site (don’t take me literally. Ever.) and I snapped a few shots.

Being built is Optima Verdana. I last checked out an Optima joint back in May of 2021, when Optima Lakeview was in progress. Optima Verdana is a 100-unit apartment building going up on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Green Bay Road. There will be about 200 parking spaces, with most of them dedicated to residents, and about 20% of them for the retail space (8,000sf) at street level. Remember, we’re in the burbs now, not Chicago, so different town, different rules.

As this is Wilmette, I don’t have access to the building permits (I mean, I *probably* do, I just don’t know where to look) but I suspect Optima Verdana is another keep-it-all-in-house special, where Optima serves as developer, design architect, and general contractor. Cut out those middlemen whenever you can, folks.

Anyway, here are a few photos of still-below-street-level progress:

Enjoying the photos? Metra and CTA rides (and Amtrak trains to Milwaukee), Zipcars, Divvy Bikes, camera lenses, domain fees, snacks & energy drinks, and comfortable walking shoes add up. You can help offset expenses by making a greatly-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.