Massive timbers are spreading from east to west along East Grand Avenue, framing the structure of a commercial building that is drawing the East Village closer to City Hall.

The project at 111 E. Grand Ave. is a collaborative development between JSC Properties, Rypma Properties, Christensen Development and Ryan Companies, the same team that built the City Hall parking garage on what had been a surface parking lot on the east side of Robert D. Ray Drive, across the street from City Hall.

Observers of downtown development credit the team with creating creative connections from the East Village to City Hall, including the parking garage and a mixed-use building at 219 E. Grand.

At 111 E. Grand, softwood lumber is stacked and fit together with hardwood dowels. It is said to be the first office building and just the second project in the country to use what is called Dowel Laminated Timber for the floor and roof assemblies. The process does not rely on glues, nails or volatile organic compounds to laminate the lumber, according to a release.

The columns and beams are glue laminated timber, resulting in high fire and chemical resistance, according to a release, which boasts high fire and chemical resistance. The exterior will be of charred wood.

When completed, the four-story structure will have 66,800 square feet of office and retail space. Ryan Companies will move its Des Moines office team into 10,500 square feet of office space. Neumann Monson Architects, the architect of record on the project, will take 4,500 square feet, St. Kilda Surf + Turf will open its second downtown restaurant in 3,100 square feet and West Financial Advisors will occupy 2,800 square feet.

“We are very pleased with the early interest and commitment to the building by some very discerning tenants,” Paul Hayes, president of JSC Properties, said in a statement.

The remaining 32,500 square feet is expected to fill a demand for additional office and retail space in the area. The project is expected to be complete in the spring. Ryan Companies real estate management team will manage the building.