Commercial work drives Fort Smith area building permit values up almost 30%

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 96 views 

Building permit value totals in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren are up almost 30% during the first four months of 2015, boosted by several large commercial projects in Fort Smith during the period.

Permit values in the three cities during January-April were $70.088 million, up 29.3% over the $54.205 million in the same period of 2014.

The early 2015 numbers were pushed higher in March when a $22 million permit was issued in Fort Smith for construction of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Located on 27 acres at Chaffee Crossing, the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine is expected to open in the fall of 2016. Obviously, without the osteopathic college permit, the first quarter permit value would have trailed 2014 activity.

Other large Fort Smith commercial projects permitted in the first four months of the year include:
• $3.83 million for a Walmart Neighborhood Market at 8600 U.S. 71 S.;
• $2 million for the first phase of the Greg Smith River Walk along the Arkansas River and beginning near downtown Fort Smith;
• $1.6 million for work on the River Valley Sports Complex at Chaffee Crossing; and
• $1.522 million for work at Sparks Health System
• $1.4 million for work at Mercy Fort Smith.

FORT SMITH PERMIT PICTURE
The city issued permits valued at $68.096 million in the January-April period, up 28.9% compared to the same period in 2014.

However, April permit values were weak compared to April 2014. The city issued 183 permits for a total value of $12.125 million during the month, well below the 22 permits valued at $21.748 million in April 2014.

Permit values for new home construction in the city totaled $2.065 million in April, below the $3.688 million in April 2014. But the first three months of the year were busy for new homebuilders. For the first four months of 2015, new home permit values total $12.802 million, up almost 19% compared to the $10.763 million in the same period of 2014.

New commercial construction also was off the pace in April. Permits during the month totaled $4.983 million, down from $11.869 million in April 2014.

GREENWOOD, VAN BUREN PERMITS
Building permit values in Greenwood totaled $416,982 on four permits in April, below the $746,320 on eight permits in April 2014. Permit values during the first four months of the year total $3.621 million, well ahead of the $1.767 million during the same period of 2014.

A majority of the permit values in Greenwood are for residential construction.

Van Buren permit values totaled $1.574 million in April thanks to $1.468 million permitted for residential construction – new and remodel – in the city. The April total is much higher than the $667,400 in April 2014 permit values.

But Van Buren permit values for the first four months of 2015 are down more than 96% compared to the same period of 2014. A $4 million Legacy Heights addition and $3.567 million Van Buren police station were permitted in the first quarter of 2014, which makes for the tough comparison.

For the first four months, Van Buren permit values total $5.308 million, down from the $10.429 million in the same period of 2014.

2014 BUILDING PERMIT VALUE TOTALS
Building permit value gains in Fort Smith and Van Buren helped push regional permit values up almost 6% in 2014 compared to 2013. Several taxpayer-funding projects – water park, police station and schools – helped boost the 2014 regional numbers.

For the year, Fort Smith permit values were up 6.61% and Van Buren permit values were up an impressive 85.7%. Greenwood had a 4.4% decline in permit values compared to 2013.

Fort Smith
2014: $189.445 million
2013: $177.687 million
2012: $136.248 million

Greenwood
2014: $7.918 million
2013: $8.283 million
2012: $8.609 million

Van Buren
2014: $16.813 million
2013: $9.049 million
2012: $9.983 million

Combined total for the three cities
2014: $214.176 million
2013: $195.019 million
2012: $154.840 million

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