Fort Smith metro building permits up in October, down year-to-date

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 36 views 

Combined building permits for the cities of Fort Smith, Greenwood, and Van Buren were $17.886 million for the month of October, an increase of 22.39% over the same month last year when only $14.614 million in building permits were issued.

Permits were highest in Fort Smith, where a $5.1 million building permit was issued for a 40 bed expansion that will add 25 jobs at Valley Behavioral on the far east side of the city. Another sizable permit was for renovations at Immaculate Conception Church, where a permit valuing more than $1.7 million was issued.

Ana Garcia with IC said the total capital campaign at the church is $3.2 million, with $2.9 million pledged by more than 600 donors.

In all, $15.629 million in building permits were issued in the city of Fort Smith during October.

For the first 10 months of 2014, the three cities issued permits totaling $176.722 million, down compared to $190.102 million during the same period in 2013. The decline represents a 7.04% decline year over year. Even though it was a decline from 2013, the figure is a 44.35% increase from 2012's total of $122.43 million during the same 10-month period. From the same period in 2011, the cumulative total represents a decline of 2.56% from $181.365 million.

Fort Smith had the largest portion of the 10-month total, with $152.263 million in permits issued, a 9.46% decrease from 2013's 10-month total of $168.174 million. Van Buren came in second with $17.125 million, a 12.48% increase from the previous year's 10-month total of $15.224 million. Greenwood this year has issued a total of $7.335 million in permits, a 9.41% increase from the 10-month total in 2013 of $6.704 million.

The city of Fort Smith issued 202 permits worth $15.629 million, a 22.3% increase from October 2013's permits of $12.779 million on 161 projects.

Commercial projects totaled $10.523 million on 33 permits, while 115 permits were issued for single family residential totaling $2.723 million.

Permits in Greenwood in October were up 375.77% over the same month last year, with $1.536 million in permits issued in October 2014 compared to only $322,860 during the same month last year.

Driving permits in the city were four new residential permits totaling $1.459 million. Other permits issued in the city include a $60,000 accessory building, $13,440 for a residential addition and $4,000 for a residential repair or remodel.

Van Buren had the worst month of the three cities, registering a 52.32% decline in October on $721,000 in permits issued. October 2013 saw permits issued totaling $1.512 million.

Driving last October's numbers was new home construction, with 22 permits issued totaling $1.478 million in value.

Permits issued in the city last month included four residential building permits totaling $288,000 and three commercial building permits valued at $433,000.

The total for last month is the second straight year that the city has seen a decline in the month of October, with the city down 24.5% from October 2012's total permitted value of $955,000.

2013 RECAP
Combined values in the three cities during 2013 were $203.037 million, compared to $157.32 million during 2012. The 2013 value is above the $201.079 million in 2011.

Fort Smith closed 2013 with the largest share of valuations, logging $177.687 million (a one-year increase of about 30.24% from $136.428 million in 2012), while Van Buren was the next largest with $17.067 million (a one-year increase of 38.96% from $12.282 million in 2012). Greenwood posted an additional $8.283 million, the only city to show a decrease from the previous year's total of $8.609 million (a decrease of 3.79%).

The gains in the Fort Smith market were largely from industrial construction projects at Chaffee Crossing, the construction of Mercy's new orthopedic hospital along Phoenix Avenue and various municipal construction projects across the city.

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