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Case Studies

Mass Timber Business Case Studies

This case study series aims to fill a gap in available information related to the financial performance of U.S. properties constructed with mass timber structural systems in buildings across various product sub-types. Using transparent quantitative data, each of the 10 case studies analyzes how mass timber has created value and provides a qualitative overview of successes, challenges, and lessons learned from the developer/owner perspective.

The series was created through a collaboration with Conrad Investment Management and would not be possible without support from the developers/owners who share their data. WoodWorks is grateful to these firms and individuals for supporting our efforts to promote a deeper understanding of how mass timber might be a useful tool for investors, occupants, and the community.

Download the case studies PDF or keep scrolling for a preview of what the package contains.

District Office / Hacker / KPFF Consulting Engineers / Photo Hacker

Case Studies At-a-Glance

The business case studies package analyzes how mass timber creates value across various property sub-types, including multi-family for-rent and for-sale products, student housing, and institutional office. Each case study includes the following sections:

Development overview provides background, including:

  • Property information
  • Product strategy
  • Investment highlights

Qualitative summary from developer/owner perspective, including:

  • Challenges
  • Lessons learned
  • Successes

Quantitative overview compares realized, pro forma, and local market data, including:

  • Costs
  • Rents/sales
  • Lease-up
  • Returns

Market context provides a local market snapshot, including:

  • Submarket description
  • Major employers/industries

Initial Findings

The information gathered on each project reveals early trends that can lend to the value creation of other properties constructed with mass timber structural systems.

Multi-family/residential: Residents respond to “look & feel”

  • Aesthetics seem to be broadly appealing
  • Robust pre-leasing
  • Tangible distinction
  • Tangible realization of desired brand identities

Office: Attractive for myriad of reasons

  • Most tenants are “creditworthy”
  • Desire intangible stakeholder benefits
  • Tend to see impressive pre-leasing



The Canyons

Property Type: For-Rent Housing

Property Type: For-Rent Housing

Property Type: For-Rent Housing

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Size: 259 apartments; 493,000 gsf (incl. 273,000 sf mass timber)

Completed: July & August 2022

Developer: New Land Enterprises

Development Partner: Wiechmann Enterprises

Location: Cleveland, OH

Size: 297 apartments; 512,000 gsf

Completed: February 2022

Developer: Harbor Bay Ventures

Location: Portland, OR

Size: 70 apartments over six retail suites; 113,314 gsf

Completed: November 2020

Developer: Kaiser Group

Development Partner: Hoosiers Corporation, Japan

Currently the world’s tallest timber tower, Ascent consists of 19 stories of mass timber luxury residential units over a six-story above-grade parking podium. Mass timber was chosen as a differentiator for this development, which achieved amazing preleasing.

INTRO Cleveland is a mixed-use development with a 700-person event space, ground floor retail, apartments and a best-in-city amenity package that delivered a new level of living in Cleveland’s most desirable neighborhood. The development achieved unparalleled leasing velocity at significant premiums.

Featuring universal design plus concierge services and other amenities, The Canyons is a six-story apartment building targeting both active seniors and younger residents. The Canyons achieved premium rents amid a design-oriented submarket and was occupied with viable tenants.

Barracuda Condos

Timber Lofts

Adohi Hall at the University of Arkansas

Property Type: For-Sale Housing

Property Type: Redevelopment/Additions

Property Type: Purpose-Built/Owner-Occupied (Student Housing/Dorms)

Location: Madison, WI

Size: 19 residential condos + two office units; 42,000 gsf

Completed: August 2020

Developer: Populance

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Size: 60 apartments; 68,400 gsf (27 apartments; 35,400 gsf added)

Completed: 2020

Developer: Pieper Properties

Location: Fayetteville, AR

Size: 202,491 gsf

Completed: 2019

Owner: University of Arkansas

Barracuda Condos is a seven-story building with five levels of condos over two levels of office and parking. Buyers loved the location, warm timber ceilings, and kitchen/appliances, and 75% of the units were sold at the start of construction.

Mass timber was chosen for a new addition to harmonize aesthetics with a historic brick and timber frame brewery building The redevelopment achieved fast-leasing at top-of-market rents, while its noteworthiness continues to create positive economic “spill-over” effects that are helping fuel positive momentum and perceptions of the submarket/ street.

Adohi Hall is the nation’s first large-scale mass timber live-learn student housing development, a bold demonstration of sustainability and innovation in university planning. While utilizing mass timber came with a slight cost premium, it was viewed as an investment in the state’s timber industry and an opportunity to create value for stakeholders that ranged from students to the real estate sector.

1 De Haro

Clay Creative

District Office

Property Type: Office

Property Type: Office

Property Type: Office

Location: San Francisco, CA

Size: 134,000 gsf

Completed: April 2021

Developer: SKS Partners

Location: Portland, OR

Size: 95,100 gsf

Completed: Spring 2016

Location: Portland, OR

Size: 105,890 gsf

Completed: February 2020

Developer: Urban Development + Partners; Beam Development

For 1 De Haro, a four-story building with a mix of speculative office and light industrial spaces, timber was initially chosen as a lightweight solution to address problematic soils. The exposed timber structure creates an authentic biophilic interior that appealed to ESG-driven tenants in the Bay Area, and the project was fully leased at the beginning of construction.

One of the earliest mass timber buildings in the U.S., Clay Creative’s differentiated design embodies millennial ethics and goals, creating value for its corporate tenants. The office space was leased quickly at top-of-market rates and has seen impressive sub-leasing.

District Office is a speculative office building, designed by and for a leading mass timber architect to reflect the values of their company and appeal to other prospective tenants. Built on a foundation of high-quality materials and sustainable design, the goal for this project is to attract loyal tenants while creating value for occupants, investors, and the community.

The ICE Blocks

Property Type: Office

Location: Sacramento, CA

Size: 170,000 gsf

Completed: Spring 2018

Developer: Heller Pacific

California’s first modern timber office building, ICE Blocks sought a similar look and feel to historic brick. and timber warehouses. The distinctive interiors attracted quality tenants at competitive rents and leased up quickly as it was being built.

Get additional resources that address the viability of U.S. mass timber projects
across various building product sub-types.

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Mass Timber Business Case Studies

Created for the developer/investor audience, these case studies discuss qualitative influences and provide quantitative data to examine investment success, challenges and lessons learned.