Year-to-date building activity down 10% in the Fort Smith area

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 85 views 

After a strong start, combined building permit values in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren are down 10% through the first eight months of the year, with August permit values down more than 35% in the three cities.

As of May, year-to-date permit values in the three cities were up more than 16% thanks to a $22 million permit for construction of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, located on 27 acres at Chaffee Crossing. But by July, combined year-to-date permit values were down 1.9%.

The three cities in August had combined permit values of $11.677 million, down 35.65% compared to the $18.148 million in values during August 2014.

FORT SMITH AUGUST ACTIVITY
Fort Smith issued 181 permits valued at $10.19 million in August, well below the $17.701 million in permit values for 210 permits issued during August 2014.

There were six new home permits in August valued at a combined $2.107 million, below the 12 new home permits valued at $3.312 million in August 2014.

The city issued 40 commercial permits valued at $7.009 million in August, below the 44 commercial permits for $11.332 million in August 2014. August 2015 permits included a $4.5 million investment by Magellan Pipeline at its fuel terminal at 8101 U.S. 71 South, and $350,000 for renovation work at Aspen Hotel & Suites.

For the first eight months of 2015, the value of permits issued in Fort Smith total $123.769 million, down 10% from $137.549 million during the same period in 2014.

AUGUST PERMITS IN GREENWOOD, VAN BUREN
Greenwood building permits issued in August totaled $631,180, well ahead of the $123,080 in August 2014. August permits included three new residential permits with a combined value of $605,180.

For the first eight months of 2015, Greenwood permit values total $8.327 million, up 118% over the $3.818 million during the same period of 2014. Greenwood is the only city among the three to post a year-to-date gain in permit values.

Van Buren issued $856,000 in permit values on 56 projects, better than the $324,000 on 38 projects issued in August 2014. The August 2015 activity included seven new home starts with a combined value of $443,700.

For the first seven months of 2015, permit values total $10.623 million, down from $17.463 million during the same period in 2014. Creating the tough comparison with 2014 is a $4 million Legacy Heights addition and $3.567 million Van Buren police station permitted in the first quarter of 2014.

2014 BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
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
2011: $201.079 million
2010: $149 million
2009: $164 million

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