CRANBERRY TWP — Another year gone by, and just another year of more than $100 million-plus in overall residential and commercial growth in Cranberry Township. On the heels off being named the Best Place in Pennsylvania to raise a family, both commercial and residential growth continued to flourish in 2012 with no end in sight heading into 2013. In addition to a host of new businesses that opened in the existing developments, a number of new construction projects were approved during the year, many of which are already under construction. Though final year tallies have not been completed, the township earlier this year had estimated total construction of $160 million to $170 million. New development has created more than 2,000 jobs in Cranberry, according to township officials. Cranberry's close proximity to major highways, its predictable and efficient permitting process, a $200 million investment in improvement projects just this year and business outreach by township officials are a few reasons for the municipality's success. In December, the steel skeleton of the new Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School held a “topping out” ceremony, Bishop David Zubik and other officials signed their names on the white beam before it was lifted by crane onto the structure. The project was approved only months earlier. Zubik had said the Cranberry Township area is the perfect location for the new school, adding that local schools like St. Kilian and St. Alphonsus have waiting lists for prospective students. The $71 million project is expected to be finished in January 2014, while the school is set to open in August of that year. Plans were unveiled in December for the new Cranberry Woods Apartments include 302 multi-family residential units of apartments, townhomes and several live-work units that are designed as a small business space over an apartment. The 17-acre complex will be near the McKesson Automation building in the Route 228 office park. That project is being developed by Trammell Crow Company. The new Courtyard by Marriott, located at the Cranberry Woods business park, welcomed its first guests in November. The 125-room Courtyard Pittsburgh North/Cranberry Woods is behind the Marriott Pittsburgh North and features amenities for business travelers and families. A second hotel was approved for the Cranberry Woods office park in November. The Home 2 Suites by Hilton, a four-story, 79-room, 49,782-square-foot hotel, will be built near Westinghouse Electric close to the roundabout near the corner of Longtree Way and Cranberry Woods Drive. Cadence, a new light manufacturing business, will come to the Cranberry Business Park off West Kensinger Road. There will be no exterior changes to the 21,000-square-foot building. Cadence will manufacture high-end medical equipment, including bone cutting and laparoscopic equipment, at the facility. Plan also were approved for a Red Lobster restaurant to replace the existing Kings Restaurant on Route 19 in the Cranberry Mall. The 5,580-square-foot restaurant received its liquor license transfer approval in November. The restaurant, which will seat 220 people, will have 104 employees. Cranberry Crossroads on Route 228 also seen a number of new businesses approved including a Juniper Grill. It is being developed by Restaurant Holdings that operates seven Atria's restaurants, one other Juniper Grill and helps manage two Ditka's Restaurants, said attorney Mark Kozar, who represents the developers. The 3,600-square-foot restaurant will have a lodge look with a wood-fired stove and leather furniture interior. The restaurant will serve American cuisine with a southwest flair. The restaurant will have 102 indoor and 50 patio seats and employ 65 workers. A new 12,063-square-foot La-Z-Boy Furniture store also was approved Cranberry Crossroads development. Cranberry Crossroads includes a Dick's Sporting Goods store, a GetGo service station and a mix of retail and office space. Emiliano's Mexican Restaurant and Bar will be in the former space of CiCi's pizza in the lower level of the Cranberry Mall. The 180-seat restaurant signed a 10-year lease for the space, according to attorney Brendan Moran representing the developer. The restaurant features authentic Mexican dishes, will be the fourth in the Pittsburgh area. The others are in the Richland Mall in Gibsonia, McIntyre Square Plaza in the North Hills and on East Carson Street on the Southside of Pittsburgh. On the residential side, plans for 37 new homes, 45 townhouses and 252 apartment units at a new development at the intersection of Freshcorn and Powell roads. It will include a roundabout at the intersection to handle the additional traffic that will be generated by the residential development that is near the Cranberry Highlands Golf Course. The Links of Cranberry and the Cranberry Vista Apartments that will be built at the intersection of Freshcorn and Powell Road near the Cranberry Highland Golf Course. The first phase will be The Links of Cranberry development with 21 single-family homes and 20 town homes. The second phase will be the construction of the 252 apartments. A park area will be built in each development along with 10 smaller parks scattered through both developments. Morris Great Lakes, a division of Morris Group, broke ground in August on a new headquarters off Marshall Road in the township. Morris Great Lakes supplies advanced machine tools and related engineering, technology and support services to manufacturers of precision machined parts in Western Pennsylvania, Western New York and West Virginia. The company is moving from its leased building at 800 Commerce Park Drive to its own larger facility at 9151 Marshall Road. The 12,000-square-foot facility includes an 8,000-square-foot state-of-the-art technical center housing machine demonstration areas and test-cutting or trial areas devoted to developing custom turnkey and automated manufacturing solutions for customers. Morris Great Lakes currently employs 35 people in Cranberry Township. Two new convenience store were approved including a new Get Go will be on Route 228 in the Cranberry Crossroad development and Sheetz on Freedom Road. A second Sheetz location is expected to be under construction in the new year at the intersection of Ehrman Road and Route 19. The overall development is approved to include a new 4,997-square-foot Sheetz at the corner and a 26,861-square-foot flex warehouse/office building.