Posted October 9, 2018

Big Wood: 21-story wood timber building proposed for Milwaukee

Timber frame apartment tower would be the tallest mass timber building in the western hemisphere.

The 238-foot tall Ascent building (depicted at right), proposed for downtown Milwaukee, would be the tallest mass timber framed structure in the western hemisphere.

(Photo: New Land Enterprises LLP)

An unusual apartment high-rise could be coming to downtown Milwaukee: a 21-story tower that uses high-grade timber, not steel, for its frame.

The 201-unit development, named Ascent, would be one of the tallest such buildings in the world, according to its developer, New Land Enterprises LLP.

Ascent would be built at the site of the long-empty Edwardo's Pizza, at the northeast corner of North Van Buren Street and East Kilbourn Avenue, said Tim Gokhman, of New Land.

The project would use an unusual but trending construction technique known as mass timber.

It would feature laminated timber: layers of wood pressed together to create columns, beams and other building frame components, Gokhman said Friday. Most tall buildings use steel and concrete frame construction.

The 238-foot Ascent would be the tallest mass timber building in the western hemisphere, he said.

It would eclipse an 18-story mass timber university residence hall that opened last year in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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