CRANBERRY TWP — The township continues to soar with all types of growth, and there’s no end in sight.
That was the word from the chief strategic planner John Trant, who gave an economic development update to supervisors at their Thursday evening meeting.
Trant said 1.25 million square feet of development is either complete, under way or planned this year.
That development, which includes residential, commercial, business, religious and all types of venues, equates to $120 million in total construction value so far in 2012.
Trant expects to finish this year with $160 million to $170 million in construction value.
The growth seen this year comes with benefits to the community, especially in the form of employment. Trant said the new development has created 2,000 jobs in Cranberry.
He said there are now roughly 20,000 total jobs in the township, and 500 of those are in construction.
Trant told supervisors the township’s 18.9 percent growth rate outpaces all Cranberry’s peer communities, and that the 4.1 percent unemployment rate is far below the 7.5 percent state unemployment rate and the national 8.3 percent rate.
Trant attributes the township’s success to several factors.
He said 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.
Trant showed supervisors a short video featuring Dennis Zeitler, chief financial officer at MSA in the Cranberry Woods industrial park, in which Zeitler extolled the spirit of cooperation by township officials.
Zeitler also named Cranberry’s location and high standards in aspects such as construction materials, landscaping and parking lots as reasons for its ability to grow and attract successful businesses.
“And Cranberry does a very good job with traffic,” Zeitler said.
Trant said future plans include ordinance changes to improve efficiency, continued investment in infrastructure and roadways and the promotion of continued development.
Supervisors seemed pleased with Trant’s report.
Chairman Bruce Mazzoni said businesses and residents also enjoy outstanding police protection and aesthetic beauty in Cranberry.
“Public safety is a very important component, but also the appearance of the community,” Mazzoni said.