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Cranberry officials publish findings about continued growth of the region

| Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

The best way to know where you're going is to stop and take a look around.

Cranberry Township officials did just that and published their findings in the 2012 Market Profile, which ranks the Cranberry corridor's residential and business facts with those from comparable regions — the City of Pittsburgh, the Monroeville/Murrysville Corridor, the North Washington Corridor, and the Airport Corridor. For many of the statistics, a projection to 2016 also is included.

The Cranberry corridor is comprised of Adams, Cranberry, Jackson, Marshall, McCandless, Pine and Seven Fields.

“Over the last 10 years, the Cranberry corridor has outpaced its peer corridors, posting an 18.3 percent growth in population, the largest population gains in the region,” the profile reads.

“The Washington corridor and Airport corridor were a distant second at 12.9 percent and 12 percent population growth, respectively.”

Growth continues in most of the Cranberry-area communities, except for Jackson and McCandless. From 2000 to 2010, the population in Jackson fell from 3,672 to 3,657 and in McCandless, 28,884 to 28,457. But Cranberry's population grew from 23,614 to 28,457; Adams from 6,901 to 11,652; Pine from 7,683 to 11,497; Marshall from 6,007 to 6,915; and Seven Fields from 1,986 to 2,887. Overall, the corridor's population increased from 78,747 to 93,193.

Nearly one-third of the corridor's residents, with a median age of 38.2, live in Cranberry Township.

“In 2000, nearly 33 percent of (Cranberry's) population was between the ages of 25 and 44, and around 19 percent was between the ages of 45 and 64.

Nearly 70 percent of the of the township's change in age groups between 2000 and 2010 was in the 45 to 54 and the 55 to 64 age groups,” reads the profile.

“Since there was little numeric change in population between the ages of 25 and 44, it is evident that the township is still attracting this younger population, which has helped to maintain a healthy labor force to population ratio.”

“We were not surprised by anything that was identified in the 2012 Market Profile, as we are always monitoring economic conditions on an on-going basis,” said Jerry Andree, township manager.

“What it did was confirm that there is alignment between the township's policies and the township's economy.”

A quick snapshot of Cranberry also shows that the median household income is $84,007, the 2010 census estimate. With all corridor areas considered, only Marshall, Pine, Upper St. Clair and Peters, have higher median household incomes at $135,262, $109,540, $100,805 and $89,065.

About 83.5 percent of housing units in Cranberry Township are owner occupied with the average household size of 2.72 people. Pine's household size is the largest with 2.92.

According to the profile, 2,666 new homes were built in Cranberry between 2000 and 2011. Most of these were single-family dwellings.

More than 730 were built since the 2007 market profile was conducted. The housing table indicates that a total of 153 mobile homes also were counted in the study.

Much of the workforce inside Cranberry's borders is filled by non-residents.

“Of the 20,514 jobs in Cranberry Township, 18,519 are filled by workers who commute from outside the township to work. In 2005, only 13,310 workers commuted into the township to work,” says the profile.

Approximately 5,292 Cranberry residents travel to jobs in Allegheny County

In 2010, the top five employment industries in the township were: professional, scientific and technical services; retail trade; manufacturing; health care and social assistance; and accommodation and food services.

In 2005, the leading industry here was the retail trade.

”The spending power of consumers in the Cranberry-draw area — communities within a 15-mile radius of the township — is 29 percent higher than the national average, and they spend over $1 billion for retail goods each year,” the profile reads.

As with retail, so it goes with real estate.

“The presence of Westinghouse Electric's newly constructed nearly 1-million-square-foot headquarters continues to drive demand – and asking rents.

The energy company employs more than 4,000 people at its new global corporate headquarters in Cranberry Township, which is fueling strong demand for real estate in the township and in surrounding areas,” the profile says.

“We have found the Market Profile is a key resource to those individuals and companies looking to invest in our community, and, as such, is the best tool to promote healthy, sustainable economic development in our community,” said Andree.

Since 2007 when the first profile was taken, township officials update the numbers every five years.

“We feel the 5-year interval is a sufficient time frame to comprehensively measure the effectiveness of our policies, along with the on-going monitoring,” Andree explained.

The 2012 Market Profile is available online at http://www.twp.cranberry.pa.us/index.aspx?NID=1925.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or ddreeland@tribweb.com.

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