Northwest Arkansas homebuilders and commercial construction crews were busy in September with building permits totaling $101.713 million in the region’s four largest cities, up 60.8% from the same month in 2014.
The gain comes from several large multifamily projects in Rogers and Fayetteville.
The residential construction pace improved from a slow summer with a 17.9% uptick in September as builders started 143 new single-family homes valued at $34.42 million. This compares to 123 new home starts valued at $29.19 million a year ago.
Rogers and Springdale each posted gains in residential home starts and corresponding permits values in September over a year ago. Fayetteville’s values also rose and Bentonville’s homebuilding sector slowed a bit. The year-over-year permit values for September are listed below.
• Bentonville: $12.967 million, down 15.3% from $15.314 million
• Fayetteville: $7.948 million, up 7.94% from $7.363 million
• Rogers: $6.407 million, up 95% from $3.269 million
• Springdale: $7.098 million, up 118% from $3.247 million
The local residential market is at a sustainable pace, according to Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas. She said new homes are selling well given the stronger economy and growing metro population.
Deck has said the commercial building sector is the one to watch in the months with more multifamily projects coming online and more office space – primarily in Bentonville and Rogers – potentially outpacing demand.
September commercial construction projects across the four cities in this report had cumulative permit values of $66.29 million, rising 98.2% from the same month last year.
Commercial Permit Values (September)
Bentonville: $9.127 million, up from $487,184 last year,
Fayetteville: $22.563 million, down from $24.815 million last year,
Rogers: $33.183 million, up from $7.966 million last year,
Springdale: $1.415 million, up from $164,792 last year.
Rogers had the most commercial building activity in September with permits valued at $33.183 million, compared to $7.966 million in the same month last year. The largest permit issued was an $8.89 million trail and improvement project underway by the city at Lake Atalanta. The First Baptist Church is in the midst of a building a $2.4 million expansion to its facility near Pleasant Grove Road.
Three new multifamily projects is another reason the Rogers city permit office was hopping in September. More than 600 apartment units are in various stages of development at three locations in Rogers, according to Lori Ericson, assistant city planner. Promenade Point is a 200-unit complex under construction at Bellview and New Hope roads, north of Pinnacle Hills Promenade. The project is developed by HSB Rogers Apts. LLC, of Mishawaka, Ind.
Palisades at Pleasant Grove, is a 208-unit complex developed by Salter Properties of Conway. It will be on the north side of Academy Sports and Outdoors located on 26th Street. Watermark at Walnut Creek has been issued grading and construction permits for a 220-unit complex at 600 S. Promenade Blvd., just south of the Scottsdale 6 Shopping Center. The project is developed by Watermark Residential of Indianapolis Inc. The company, on its website, describes itself as a leader in the development of upscale apartment homes in eight states.
The building boom around multifamily is related to low July vacancy rates reported for the region by the Arvest Bank Skyline Report. The report found the vacancy rate to be 2.3% in the first half of this year across the region. The vacancy rate fell from 6.5% in the same period of 2014. Rogers and Bentonville are playing catch up to Fayetteville with multifamily building. The vacancy rates for multifamily units in Rogers fell to 0.9% in the first half of this year. Bentonville’s vacancy rate was down to 0.4% in July. More than 1,000 new units have been announced in Bentonville, also.
More than 4,400 rental units have been announced in new multifamily projects for Fayetteville as of the July Arvest report. In September there were two permits valued at roughly $12 million together for 88 units at the Champions Club apartment development along Razorback Road.
Outside of multifamily other large commercial permits across the region include:
• Walmart Neighborhood Market Grocery at 660 Martin Luther King Blvd., Fayetteville – $6.969 million;
• Office building for Crossbar, 2200 SE 28th Street, Bentonville – $5.49 million;
• Airplane hanger at Bentonville Municipal Airport, Bentonville – $541,800;
• Captain D’s Seafood Restaurant, 909 S. Thompson, Springdale – $341,145; and
• Airplane hanger at Springdale Municipal Airport, Springdale – $424,214.