CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The growl of the big diesel cats echo across the valley between I-79 and Franklin Road.

They are digging and pushing dirt for the Echo Cranberry development on the north side of Route 228 in the fastest growing area of western Pennsylvania.

Cranberry Township Chief Strategy Officer John Trant says the development will include, “Dick’s Sporting Goods, as well as some retail office space, and potentially some residential development in that area as well.”

Trant says there is quite a bit of land behind the area currently under construction that will eventually be included in the residential portion of the plan.

Meanwhile, across Route 228 and just to the east, the Hilton Garden Inn is approaching completion. It is the first parcel of the Summit at Cranberry Woods and is joined by several areas cleared for restaurants.

Creative Real Estate Development President Donald Rodgers says the original plan included, “a mix of office, retail, apartments, movie theaters, and restaurants but the environment just isn’t there to finance a project like that today.”

So Rodgers says they evolved the plan to meet a ballooning demand for office space in Cranberry Township.

“The office market is so strong in Cranberry Township, it may be the strongest market in the country, so we’re going where the demand is,” Rodgers says.

Under the new plan, The Summit at Cranberry Woods will have about 400,000 square feet of new office space available within the next four years, plus two additional hotels.

To deal with the increased traffic, all this development will bring PennDOT has plans for the intersection of I-79 and Rt. 228.

Construction will begin next year on ramps onto the interstate from westbound 288 which will eliminate the need for left turns onto the current ramps. Both ramps should be open by the fall of 2014.

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