Official denies rift with the Penguins
October 24, 2012
CRANBERRY TWP — Township manager Jerry Andree said there is no rift between township officials and the Pittsburgh Penguins regarding a proposed sports medicine complex that could come here. The Penguins and officials with UPMC in June announced plans to bring the 150,000-square-foot complex to the Cranberry Woods office park. The facility would consist of two ice rinks that would be used by the Penguins for practice, but would also be open to the public for youth hockey and community events. The facility also would contain a sports medicine and training complex. Several media reports during the weekend, however, quoted the Penguins’ chief operating officer as saying the team would be willing to take its proposal elsewhere if the two sides couldn’t agree on the specifics of the site plan. Andree on Monday debunked that claim and said he’d already spoken with team executives, who he said reportedly were unhappy about the story spreading misconceptions. “There is no rift,” he said. “They never said take it or leave it. That’s not their style.” That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of details to hash out concerning the plan. Andree said the property in discussion is zoned as mixed-use and is reserved for a combination of retail, office and residential development. Any plans the Penguins or others have for that property must fit within the confines of the zoning ordinances, Andree said. “What they want to do is carve out a very large chunk of property and put a single-use development there,” he said. “So we have to look at how that would interact with other properties around it.” Officials from both sides met in Cranberry Township last week, for a productive meeting Andree said showed a willingness to work together. There likely will be more meetings down the road until both sides reach an agreement on the zoning issue. “Right now, we’re working on how to make sure (the proposal) stays in compliance (with the zoning ordinance),” Andree said.