Big jump recorded last year in Cranberry Twp. construction

New construction for 2020 jumped more than $1 million from the previous year in Cranberry Township.

There were 108 building permits filed in the township last year, and the documents listed a total of $5,341,793 in estimated construction costs.

That is significantly higher than the $4.2 million listed for 2019 despite more permits at 156 issued in that time frame.

“I think COVID prompted a lot of home repairs and other projects,” said Ben Breniman, the code enforcement and zoning officer for the township. “People added decks, pools, garages and things like that. And, they renovated and expanded, too.”

Hefty commercial work

While only about 14 of the 108 permits filed in Breniman’s office were listed for commercial projects, they claimed about 40%, or $2.2 million, of the construction totals.

There were three hefty projects in the commercial mix.

Walmart filed four permits that carried a cumulative $826,000 in estimated remodeling work and the installation of signage.

The Clarion Federal Credit Union submitted three building permits that listed $628,800 in work. The bulk of that figure was $605,000 for the construction of a new office off Route 322 near the Cranberry Mall.

Wayne Hepler filed a permit for a recreation building that carried a construction cost of $400,000.

Other large commercial work listed on the 2020 permits included:

— The Red Express gas station and convenience store on Route 257 filed a permit to do $175,000 in remodeling work. The business obtained a liquor license and will begin selling beer and wine. The facility will also offer in-house dining.

— United Erie Properties, $70,000 canopy.

— BGCN Enterprise, $25,000 garage

— Aaron’s Furniture, $13,000 signs

— McDonald’s, $10,000 signs

— West Park Rehab, $2,000 signs

Trend is continuing

On the residential side, the township processed building permits for 11 new homes with the single home construction costs ranging from $131,000 to $361,000.

The home building accounts for $2.2 million of the township’s overall 2020 estimated construction. At 11 new houses, that is the same figure for new residences as recorded for 2019.

An uptick in new construction has been the trend in Cranberry Township for the last several years. In comparison, the township listed $3.6 million in estimated construction costs a decade ago.

There have been dramatic blips in that trend with the UPMC Northwest hospital often pushing the figures up.

As an example, 2017 was a banner year at $9.9 million in new construction. In that listing, though, a major $3.3 million overhaul of the oncology department at the hospital accounted for the big jump.