Madison developer again increases height for planned Edison Street apartment tower in downtown Milwaukee

The latest rendering of The Edison apartment tower. Submitted rendering.

Last updated on May 23rd, 2023 at 02:00 pm

Madison-based developer The Neutral Project has once again upped the size of its planned mass timber apartment tower in downtown Milwaukee.

The Edison apartment tower is now planned to be a 32-story, 344-unit multi-family building with about 7,100 square feet of retail space along the Milwaukee RiverWalk, according to a press kit sent out this week. The residential units would range from studios to three-bedroom apartments.

The Edison was originally envisioned as being 15 stories tall and was increased in February to 28 stories.

“(Adding more floors) actually makes it less expensive to build on a per unit basis,” said Nate Helbach, managing partner of The Neutral Project.

The Edison would be built at 1005 N. Edison St., the former site of the Rojahn & Malaney wholesale florist warehouse. The 295,734-square-foot tower is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2026, pending city approvals.

Parking is planned for the second through sixth floors of the building. Plans show a seventh floor dedicated to resident amenities. Floors 28 through 31 will be penthouse levels. The first floor will house a lobby, café, and a yet-to-be-determined restaurant.

“(On the seventh floor) we have this novel spa feature, which is a sauna, a hot tub, pools…kind of like a spa experience that we’re designing right now,” said Helbach. “We also have a demo kitchen, a co-working space, a library, an outdoor garden amenity, an outdoor dog run, a fitness center and yoga studio and a movie room. It’s a pretty big floor.”

Using mass timber as a chief building material for the structure follows The Neutral Project’s mission to construct carbon neutral buildings.

“The Edison will be built using a hybrid engineered wood system, with cross laminated timber (CLT) floor system, glulam columns, concrete beams stairs and cores,” according to a project description. “Glulam and CLT form the building method known as ‘mass timber.’ These materials are manufactured lumber products built to be aesthetically pleasing and act as functional structural components of the building.”

The Edison would not be Milwaukee’s first mass timber building. The 25-story, 259-unit, mass timber Ascent at 700 E. Kilbourn Ave. welcomed its first tenants last July. It is currently the tallest mass-timber building in the world. The Edison would be the tallest hybrid mass timber tower in North America once completed, coming in at 362 feet.

Irvine, California-based HPA Architecture is the architect for the project. Fond du Lac-based C.D. Smith Construction is the general contractor. New York-based Thornton Tomasetti is the structural engineer. Rosemont, Illinois-based SpaceCo is the civil engineer.

Helbach said there isn’t an exact time yet as to when they’ll bring the plan for The Edison forward for official city review.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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