A new neighborhood is step closer to construction in Cranberry.
At Monday’s Planning Advisory Commission meeting, officials recommended approval for the Apartments at Cranberry Woods, an apartment and townhome community to be located in the Cranberry Woods business park off Route 228.
James Murray-Coleman, senior vice president of Trammell Crow Company, the developer for the project, said the neighborhood would consist of 302 apartments and townhouses, including several “live/work” units that have retail stores on the first floor the building and apartment units on the second level.
There will be 170 one-bedroom apartments and 120 will two-bedroom apartments in the development, he said. There also will be a dozen three-bedroom, two-story townhomes.
The apartment complex’s manager would live in a unit above the leasing office, he said. The three and four-story buildings, which include parking garages tucked underneath them, all would be clustered around a central “village green.”
Murray-Coleman said the neighborhood would have a free shuttle that circulates the business park and drop offs and pick ups workers who live in the community.
Other planned neighborhood amenities include sidewalks, a fenced pet area, “parklets” and a small amphitheater. There also will be a pool, a cabana and a fitness facility, plus pedestrian trails connecting to the park-wide trail system already in place throughout Cranberry Woods.
“We’ve really tried to emphasize in our design process that we’re part of a community,” Murray-Coleman said.
He added developers are looking at several companies experienced in managing high-end residential complexes to oversee the four buildings.
Planning officials also agreed to several of the developer's modification requests, including reducing the number of parking spaces required by the township from 538 to 514 spots. Murray-Coleman noted his company has successfully developed several similarly-sized neighborhoods with less parking than that amount.
He added the neighborhood's proximity to businesses in the area, plus the free shuttle, may result in residents cutting back on the number of cars they own.
Developers also were granted approval to deviate in style from some of Cranberry’s required streetscape enhancements.
Murray-Colman said developers wish to implement slightly cleaner, more modern light fixtures and benches that would better go with the urban style of the neighborhood.
While Cranberry’s streetscape ordinance asks that light fixtures, benches and other “hardscaping” be painted a certain shade of Cranberry red, Murray-Coleman asked for permission to paint them black in order to match the outdoor lights and furniture already in place in the Cranberry Wood business park.
Noting the Apartments of Cranberry Woods would be a stand-alone neighborhood surrounded by the business park, commission member Bill Thompson said he did not have a problem allowing the paint colors to match.
“I could probably live with the black,” he said.
Up next, the plans will move before the Cranberry Board of Supervisors for final approval.
If everything is approved, Murray-Coleman said he hopes to start construction on the neighborhood by March or April 2013.