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New Neighborhood at Cranberry Woods Business Park Could Offer Work—And Play

Among the proposed neighborhood amenities is a shuttle to and from businesses in the Cranberry Woods.

A new neighborhood proposed for Cranberry may take the township’s motto of “Live, Work, Play” to a whole new level.

At Monday’s Planning Advisory Commission meeting, officials reviewed conceptual plans for an apartment and townhome community to be located in the Cranberry Woods business park off Route 228.

Although there is no officials name yet for the neighborhood, it has been the dubbed the Apartments at Cranberry Woods.

Speaking to planning officials Monday night, James Murray-Coleman, senior vice president of Trammell Crow Company, the developer for the project, said he wanted to get the board’s feedback before submitting the plans to the township for review.

Besides a more urban style, Murray-Coleman said what makes the proposed community unique is that it would feature several “live/work” units that have retail stores on the first floor the building and apartment units on the second level.

The apartment complex’s manager also would live in a unit above the leasing office. The buildings themselves would be clustered around a central “village green.”

Owned by Mine Safety Appliances, the 17.5-acre property is located close to some of the township's major employers, including the Westinghouse headquarters, MSA and McKesson Automation. Murray-Coleman said the neighborhood would include a free shuttle that circulates the business park and drop offs and pick ups workers who live in the community.  

“We felt that this really presented a good opportunity,” he said.

At questioning from board members asking if there is a demand for live/work units, Murray added the concept is a new one for the Cranberry area—and one he thinks will be successful.

“It’s sort of an experiment on some levels,” he said. ‘We believe it’s going to work.”

Located behind the Marriott North Hotel and the Courtyard by Marriott currently under construction on Cranberry Woods Drive, proposed plans for the development show a total of 298 units. About half of the units will be one-bedroom apartments, while the other half will two-bedroom apartments. There also will be close to a dozen three-bedroom, two-story townhomes.

“They’ll have a different feel and add more of a presence to that lawn area,” Murray-Coleman said. 

There also will be pedestrian trails connecting to the park-wide trail system already in place throughout Cranberry Woods, Murray-Coleman said. Other planned amenities included sidewalks, a fenced pet area, “parklets” and a small amphitheater. There also will be a pool, a cabana and a fitness facility.

The building would be between three and four stories high with interior stairwells. Parking would be located below the units. Murray-Coleman said developers also are considering adding stacked fieldstone—which he said is an upgrade—to the building’s façade instead of brick. 

Developers plan to submit a land development application to the township next week for review at the next Planning Advisory Commission meeting in December.

In the meantime, check out renderings for the proposed community at the top of this article.

What do you think of a residential community located inside the Cranberry Woods Business Park? Would you enjoy living so close to work? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Jennifer S October 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Good luck getting the live/work units approved!
PVS October 31, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I think this is a very interesting idea. Could work very well -- looks like many of the developments around the Greater DC suburbs.
SH October 31, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Adding residential to Cranberry Woods is great, but we're still missing a lifestyle center. It's a broken-record argument but it's one that needs to be addressed. We've got business, hotels, and potential new residential developments, but we have no retail/entertainment. We need a movie theater, coffee shops, more restaurants, and retail packaged in a community similar to the Waterfront but featuring stores with limited or no presence in the Pittsburgh market (i.e. Home Goods, World Market, REI, Apple Store, and a stand alone department store such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, or Macy's). We don't need more AT&T stores, La-Z-Boys, or Mens Wearhouses. Give us a reason NOT to drive to Ross Park and keep the tax revenue in Butler County so we can invest back in the community. We've got vacant land everywhere but everything is piece meal. There's no master plan... 228 is done in odd phases, there's an enormous mound of land next to the Seven Fields Giant Eagle that sits idle, growing weeds, and despite all the potential, if you want to do any serious shopping, you have to drive 35 minutes to Ross Park. We need a master plan that truly balances green space with business, residential, and retail space (and also balances chain stores with mom-and-pop businesses) and lays out the appropriate infrastructure to handle the demand.
Mary November 01, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Just what we need....more traffic on Route 228! We can't handle the traffic that is on it now. Keep adding more cars, and it will turn into gridlock!

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