A deal to build a 12-story timber tower in Portland, Ore., is off as the cost of building the project proved too high. The building, Framework, was to be constructed from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and was expected to be the tallest timber building in North America.

According to Architect, Framework was one of two projects recognized in the 2015 U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition. Construction plans for the other project—a 10-story mass timber condominium in New York designed by SHoP Architects—were also abandoned due to financial reasons in March 2017.

The developer of the Framework project, Portland-based project^, had received commitments from the city of Portland and the Portland Housing Bureau for affordable housing subsidies despite the high price tag, but were unable to secure enough dollars to fund the $29 million project. Willamette Week reports:

The building, which was slated to include 60 affordable apartments, was projected to cost $651.43 per square foot.

The Housing Bureau justified the decision to spend urban renewal dollars on the project in part by saying the project was ready to go, including funding. But it wasn't. The project faced a $2 million funding gap, which had not been filled.

[July 19 Update: A spokesperson for Framework contacted a sister publication to ProSales and said that Willamette Week's numbers were incorrect. The construction costs for the total building were $34 million, which and the per-square-foot cost was $377, the spokesperson said.]

The CLT project had received interest and support from Oregon politicians. CLT's cross-hatched layers make it stronger and lighter than traditional wood. CLT also lowers construction costs and produces less waste, making it an ideal material for state officials hoping to revitalize the logging industry in Oregon. According to Willamette Week:

The state's U.S. senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, last week helped secure a half a million dollar grant to Oregon State University to study the durability of cross-laminated timber.

Portland is already home to one of the country's tallest mass timber structures, Carbon 12, according to Architect.

This story was originally published in ProSales.

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