Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Downtown apartment high-rise is expanding
Latest expansion driven by strong demand
An apartment high-rise planned for downtown Milwaukee is getting bigger − marking the second time its developers have expanded their proposal.
The Edison was initially planned as a 15-story building with around 200 units overlooking the Milwaukee River at 1005 N. Edison St.
Revised plans filed with the city in February called for a 28-story high-rise with 296 apartments.
Now, The Edison’s developer, Madison-based The Neutral Project LLC, is planning a 32-story tower with around 350 apartments, said Nate Helbach, the firm’s managing partner.
This latest expansion is driven by strong demand for higher end apartments combined with revisions to The Edison’s design from Chicago-based Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Helbach said.
“We kind of landed at a sweet spot,” he said.
The plans also were revised to reduce the commercial space from around 15,000 square feet on two floors to 7,100 square feet on the ground floor, Helbach said.
The Neutral Project continues to assemble its financing for the project, he said.
The Edison is to be built at the site of the former Rojahn & Malaney Co. warehouse. A Neutral Project affiliate, North Edison LLC, bought the project site for $4.1 million, and the building was demolished this spring.
Helbach said he’s not sure when the proposal will be filed for Plan Commission and Common Council review. The Neutral Project hopes to begin construction by spring 2024, with the project taking around 30 months to complete.
The Edison would use an unusual construction technique known as mass timber, or cross-laminated timber. That 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.
Downtown also is home to Ascent, a mass timber apartment tower that opened last summer at 700 E. Kilbourn Ave.
The Edison would join four other Milwaukee apartment high-rises that are under development.
The Couture, 909 E. Michigan St., and 333 N. Water, in the Historic Third Ward, are under construction.
Meanwhile, construction is to begin this summer on a high-rise at 1550 N. Prospect Ave. And the Plan Commission on Tuesday endorsed plans for a high-rise at North Farwell Avenue and East Curtis Place, with plans to start construction in early 2024.