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Pens, UPMC Making Plans for State-Of-The-Art Sports Complex in Cranberry

Township manager Jerry Andree says facility still is far from a done deal.

Plans are in the infancy stage for the Pittsburgh Penguins to partner with UPMC on a state-of-the-art sports performance center and practice rink in Cranberry.

The proposed 150,000 square foot complex would be located in the Cranberry Woods business park off Route 228—near the—and offer hockey-related training and injury treatment and prevention. The goal is to have the facility open by the summer of 2014, said UPMC spokeswoman Susan Manko.

But first, the township must give its approval.

Cranberry manager Jerry Andree said having the sports complex—which would be geared primarily toward hockey players—in the community is far from a done deal. The developers will need to work with the township on the land development process, he said.

A land development application currently is approved for the property—owned by developer Don Rodgers—for a mixed-use development, Andree said. Dubbed The Summit of Cranberry Woods, the property was given a green light to include a combination of retail, office and residential development.

A sports complex would be a deviation from that land use, Andree said.

What that means is the developers would need to withdraw the current application for the land—which was approved March 2010—and seek new approval for the plans from the township.

“If they’re going to change it, it goes back to ground zero,” Andree said.

UPMC is in the preliminary stages of buying the land, Manko said. Rodgers could not immediately be reached for comment.

Cranberry officials also would have to determine if the facility is the right fit for the area under the Cranberry Plan, a long-term map of the township's growth, Andree said.

“We have to learn a lot more about the project,” he said.

UPMC would build and own the Cranberry center and the Pens would lease the ice rink and other facilities—including a practice area the team would use when Consol Energy Center isn't available—from the hospital, according to the Post-Gazette.

Manko told the Post-Gazette the UPMC sports medicine and training facilities within the complex would be tax exempt. The parts leased by the Penguins will be taxable, she said

While plans still are in the tentative stages, it was no surprise to Andree that the Penguins and UPMC would want to build a sports complex north of the city. The Penguins currently practice at the Iceoplex at Southpointe in Washington County.

“Everybody wants to be in Cranberry,” Andree said. “We love the enthusiasm to be here.”

What do you think about the Pens building a sports complex in Cranberry?

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