MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL –Construction has started on an unusual downtown Milwaukee apartment tower.

The $80 million project known as Ascent, is being developed at 700 E. Kilbourn Ave. by New Land Enterprises LLP and Wiechmann Enterprises.

Foundation work has started, New Land announced Monday. The building is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2022.

The 25-story, 259-unit high-rise is being constructed with mass timber or cross-laminated timber.

The mass timber process uses layers of wood pressed together to create columns, beams, and other building frame components.

Apartments, offices, and other buildings made from timber provide a lower carbon footprint than conventional construction. They also can create a more attractive atmosphere, featuring exposed wood interiors.

At 284 feet, Ascent is to be the tallest mass timber structure in the world, according to New Land.

The 280-foot-tall Mjøstårnet tower opened in Norway in 2019 and is the world’s tallest such building. But a mass timber high-rise in the works for Sydney, Australia, is planned at 590 feet, according to Popular Mechanics.

Ascent has attracted lenders and investors despite the economic problems tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Tim Gokhman, managing director of New Land Enterprises.

Gokhman said the developers are proceeding to close the financing package.

Ascent’s general contractor is a joint venture between C.D. Smith Inc. and Catalyst Construction.

Korb + Associates is the architect, with San Francisco-based Swinerton serving as mass timber consultant. Thornton Tomasetti is providing structural engineering services.

Monthly rents start at $1,610 for a one-bedroom unit.

Milwaukee’s first mass timber building, the 60-unit Timber Lofts apartments, opened this summer at 300 W. Florida St. in Walker’s Point.

See more HERE.