Home Depot store project to total more than $6 million


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The commercial endeavor is one of the largest ever in Venango County.

The Home Depot store under construction in Cranberry Township is a $6.3 million building project on a pricey piece of land.

Combined, the price tag puts it as one of the biggest commercial projects ever built in Venango County.

The Atlanta-based retail chain filed a building permit this week with Cranberry Township zoning officer Terry Ray. Ray said the estimated cost for the store project is $6,254,665.

Home Depot purchased a 24.55-acre parcel adjacent to the Staples store on Route 322 earlier this year for nearly $1.7 million. The combination puts the total cost for the store, designed to cover 102,000-square feet, at about $8 million.

In comparison, the Wal-Mart store nearby on Route 322 was built for less than two-thirds that amount in 1998. The super store was constructed at a cost of $3.7 million on land that was purchased for $1.6 million.

Plans for Home Depot, described as a typical size for the signature orange box-type store, also call for a 580-space parking lot. It could be finished and open for business, according to a Home Depot spokesman, by mid-December. The company is expected to hire between 120 and 150 full-time and part-time employees.

The addition of the Home Depot building permit pushes Cranberry Township's estimated building costs so far this year to $18.7 million. A hefty $7.4 million was added two months ago to the construction tally when a building permit was filed for a new addition to Cranberry Elementary School. Also in the mix are several new homes.

Even at mid-year, the $18.7 million is a record amount of new commercial, educational and residential construction in the township. Until now, the high point for those types of construction stood at $8.2 million in 1998, a year when Wal-Mart was in the mix.

Only one other year stands out and it is a benchmark period. In 2002, the new construction figures for Cranberry Township hit $42.2 million, an amount skewed by the new UPMC Northwest hospital project. The building costs included some $39 million to $40 million for the new hospital. Final costs, including furnishings and equipment, will exceed $70 million.

There are more construction starts expected this year and those will further swell the building boom in Cranberry Township.

One of the largest projects could be a physicians' office building, due for construction on the new hospital property. That cost is pegged at between $6 million and $7 million.

The Home Depot building permit netted a fee of $7,836 for the township.