Steep decline seen in area building permit values

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 122 views 

Building permit values in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren, combined to total $8.492 million in April, down from the $9.885 million March total, which in turn was down from $9.976 million in April 2011.

Last month’s number is down approximately 14.88% from the same period last year, and represents a 14.09% decline from March.

Year-to-date, values are at $38.69 million for the three cities, down more than 49% compared to the 2011 period. Fort Smith claimed the most at $30.477 million (a one-year decline of about 57%), while Van Buren was the next largest with $6.046 million (a one-year increase of around 55.7%). Greenwood posted an additional $2.165 million, which was down slightly from last year (about 22.8%).


The city of Fort Smith logged 180 permits during April totaling $5.563 million, down drastically from last month’s 202 permits and $8.694 million valuation (a decline of 36%). The new number is more in line with February totals, which claimed $5.271 million on 197 permits.

Commercial building alterations and repairs as well as new home construction were the most highly valued line items. Led by 10 new home construction permits totaling $1.706 million, the city was also helped along by $1.3 million worth of alterations on 3 commercial building permits.

Compared to April 2011, Fort Smith’s permit issuances are the same, but valuation is down 32.15% from last year’s $8.199 million total.


New home construction dominated Greenwood’s April numbers with 3 permits totaling $645,000 accounting for most of the $727,500 overall valuation (on 7 total permits). In March, Greenwood scored 9 permits for $628,240, showing a 30-day increase. But compared to last year, the city’s numbers are in decline by 25.13% from $971,726 in April 2011.


Van Buren was the one bright spot in this month’s numbers, posting both  30-day and one-year increases. While March saw the city issuing 34 permits for $563,350, April’s tally came in at an optimistic $2.201 million on 38 permits. In April 2011, Van Buren scored just $805,865, so compared to last year, the city is boasting a 36.60% increase.

New home construction came in at $532,635 on 10 permits for April, while commercial building projects racked up $286,700 on 5 permits.

The largest line item was for 2 commercial additions at $1.345 million total. From this number, the Boys and Girls Club of Van Buren is handling a $595,000 addition, while Arkansas Warehouse, is tacking on $750,000.

2011 RECAP

Building permit values in the three cities during 2011 totaled $76.35 million for the first four months, more than twice what the current numbers reflect. Fort Smith logged $70.865 million in the first four months of 2011, thanks in large part to the $28.45 million permit from Mitsubishi to build a plant at Chaffee Crossing.

Greenwood was at second place through April 2011 with $2.806 million in valuations, beating out Van Buren, which posted just $2.679 million through the same period.

Removing 2011's Mitsubishi new construction permit from the equation, 2012 numbers are down from last year by approximately 19.2%, with the actual drop-off at around 49.3%.