The public will be able to watch the Pens pass the puck at selected practices.
Posted by Jessica Sinichak (Editor), Cranberry Patch,
At Monday’s Cranberry planning commission meeting, developers detailed plans for the brick and glass sports complex slated to be located along Route 228.
The 57-acre site, which will be built out in five phases, also includes two hotels, a six-story apartment building, conventional townhouses, “live-work” townhouses, retail and office space.
Roger Altmeyer, director of community project development for UPMC, said the roughly 175,000 square-foot facility would include two rinks of equal size to be used as determined by the Penguins organization.
One rink will be private ice with no rink-side seating. The other rink will have seating for 1,500.
Altmeyer said the Penguins would use the rink with the seating for selected public practices.
Pens spokesman Tom McMillan also has said the rinks could be used for high school hockey tournaments, development camps for Penguins hockey prospects, skating classes, public skating sessions and other programs.
“The Penguins obviously want to promote hockey in this community as much as they possibly can, so they’re going to try to accommodate whatever programs they can in there,” Altmeyer said.
UPMC will build and own the facility, which will be similar in nature to the UPMC sports performance complex on Pittsburgh’s South Side that’s used by the Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh and also includes sports medicine, practice and training facilities.
The Penguins will lease the ice rink and other facilities from the hospital. Don Rodgers and FRA Development are developing the property.
Altmeyer said the complex would be the primary training facility for the Penguins, replacing the space the team currently leases at the Iceoplex at Southpointe in Washington County.
The team also would use the rink for practice during the regular season when the ice isn’t available at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
An oval-shaped locker room similar to the one at the Consol center also will be available to the team at the Cranberry facility.
Altmeyer said there would be a separate entrance and parking lot with 50 spaces for Pens players only. A security fence will surround the private parking lot. An additional 450 parking spaces will be available for the public.
Also included in the plans are a retail store and concession stand to be located at the main entrance to the building. Altmeyer said he believes the store would sell Penguins gear.
There will be a separate entrance for the medical side of the complex. The sports performance facility will include concussion and orthopedic programs, Altmeyer said.
“We will have activities on the first and second floor,” Altmeyer said of UPMC. “The Penguins primary activity will be on the first floor, although there’s going to be a little area on top where the GM and owners can observe what’s going on the rink.”
Planning officials are tentatively expected to give a recommendation on the project at the August planning commission meeting. Next, the Cranberry Board of Supervisors would vote on whether to give final approval to the plans.
Altmeyer said he hopes to begin grading on the site in the fall. Construction on the development could begin taking place next spring.
“We want to be open in the summer of 2015,” he said.
He added UPMC and the Penguins conducted a “very significant” two-year search process before setting on Cranberry to build the sports complex.
“The access is great,” he said of Cranberry. “It’s a dynamic community.”