Official says Cranberry on right track
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Cranberry's latest market profile -- an analysis of the township's "vital signs" like job growth and demographics -- shows that the municipality is tracking the way municipal officials expect. And that's a good thing, said township manager Jerry Andree.
"Everything is as we expected it to be. We are meeting the expectations of our long-range plan, continuing to draw family-sustaining jobs as we become more and more of a commuter destination," he said.
The study was an update of an analysis conducted in 2007 that looked at community demographics, workforce composition, employment trends and commercial markets.
The hard facts, gleaned through a variety of data banks and information providers, reflected what township officials believed: Transportation/warehousing jobs have been pushed out of their spot by professional/scientific/technical jobs that have a lower impact on roads and generally pay higher wages; businesses are paying top dollar in rents to local property owners, reflecting healthy demand.
In fact, a commercial real estate index shows growing demand for office space; unemployment is lower (4.1 percent) and residents are younger than statewide averages; and the majority of people who work in Cranberry are commuting here from other locales. The study claims 18,519 of 20,514 jobs in Cranberry are filled by workers from other communities. With a resident workforce of 11,155, fewer than 2,000 work within the township's boundaries.
Mr. Andree said he thinks the data reflects that township leaders were on the right track with a philosophy that calls for offering residents plenty of amenities in the areas of parks and recreation while creating a municipal infrastructure of roads and services that support the business community.
"People want to live here and companies want to locate where people want to live," he said.
So far this year, $120 million in construction has either been completed or initiated. In 2011, home sales totaled 570 -- $160 million in total dollar volume. The township's median household income is $84,007.
Mr. Andree said the information from the market study will help township leaders prioritize initiatives. Among current goals are to create commercial zones that will attract businesses to existing concentrations of commercial enterprises, an initiative that Mr. Andree describes as "anti-sprawl."
He said staff remains committed to helping the business community reinvest in existing properties, an effort that combats blight. A perennial top priority is seeking public and private financing for infrastructure improvements, especially projects that boost road capacity and traffic flow.
First Published October 25, 2012 4:55 am