Is Milwaukee becoming the world's mass timber leader?

Milwaukee's Ascent building, which opened in 2022, is the largest mass-timber apartment complex in the world.

Milwaukee may soon be home to two of the largest mass-timber buildings in the world after developers of an apartment tower planned for downtown Milwaukee announced that it was doubling in height, and would be among the world's tallest mass-timber buildings when it opens in 2025.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the Edison apartment structure was initially planned as a 15-story building with around 200 units overlooking the Milwaukee River, but revised plans that have just been filed with the city now call for a 28-story high-rise with 296 apartments, said Nate Helbach, a managing partner at Madison-based development firm The Neutral Project LLC.

A rendering of the Edison, a mass-timber building scheduled for completion in 2025. 

The Neutral Project decided to expand its plans for The Edison because of the economies of scale achieved with a taller high-rise, Helbach told the newspaper.

Worlds's tallest

When the Edison opens it will fall just shortly of the Ascent building, which is considered the world's tallest timber building at 284 feet, which beats the current record holder in height by 4 feet.

In July 2022, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat designated the 488,000-square-foot residential building in Milwaukee as the world’s tallest timber and concrete hybrid structure.

The $125 million building features a hybrid timber and concrete frame. It was developed by New Land Enterprises and Wiechman Enterprises. 



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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).