Home Depot store project to total more than $6 million
By JUDITH O. ETZEL

7/28/04

Special Thanks to The Derrick for Allowing this story to be Posted

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.