Northwest Arkansas building permit values up 16.8% in 2015

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 200 views 

Homebuilders and commercial construction crews kept busy in 2015 with one of the most active building paces in the region’s history. The cities of Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale issued new construction permits valued at more than $902 million last year, up 16.8% from the $773 million issued in 2014.

Commercial permits accounted for $482 million, or 53%, of the overall permit values among the region’s four largest cities. Commercial permits values rose 30% from the $370 million reported by the same cities in 2014. Multifamily construction in Rogers and Bentonville picked up during 2015 and much of that building continues.

In Bentonville, The Thrive urban complex was finished in 2015 with a price tag of $4.5 million. Bentonville issued permits in October for a new $23 million The Pointe complex. Phase I under construction now will have 168 units. The Park at Bentonville, is another large scale in the southwest part of town that was approved by the city in August. The 120-units had combined permit values of $27 million.

Rogers has two major apartment complexes under construction with more than 400 units joining the mix later this year. Those are $30 million Watermark on Walnut Creek on Promenade Boulevard with 220 units, and $28 million Palisades at Pleasant Grove with 208 units.

In September there were two permits valued at roughly $12 million together for 88 units at the Champions Club apartment development along Razorback Road in Fayetteville. In October, Fayetteville issued permit valued at $44.558 million for multifamily apartments located near the University of Arkansas. The Harvey’s Hill Collegiate Community located on South Duncan, just south of Martin Luther King Boulevard got permits for 219 units and a parking garage.

Outside of multifamily other large commercial permits across the region include:
• $23.2 million, 8W business complex in Bentonville;
• $13.333 million, Sam’s Furniture new showroom Springdale;
• $10 million, Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville;
• $8.89 million, trail and improvements at Lake Atalanta in Rogers;
• $7.5 million, Pinnacle Country Club Office Plaza in Rogers; and
• $6.980 million, American Tubing facility in Springdale.

While commercial work crews were active in Bentonville last year the total of overall new commercial permits declined year over year. The city issued permits valued at $119.92 million in 2015, falling 22% from the $154.5 million report in 2014.

In Rogers commercial permits values issued in 2015 totaled $94.29 million, up 2.2% from the $92.245 million reported in 2014. Multifamily, city improvements and small commercial projects made up a lion’s share of the commercial construction projects approved by the city last year.

Fayetteville’s commercial building pace in 2015 was also off from the pace set in 2014. The city issued new commercial permits valued at $189.72 million, down 20.6% year-over-year. While multifamily housing contributed to the bulk of the activity in 2015, there were not as many large scale projects approved such as the $10 million Whole Foods and the surrounding shopping center along with the $20 million Fayetteville Flyover which were approved in 2014. There were more smaller overall projects for new restaurants and other retail outlets approved in 2015 than the prior year.

Commercial work in Springdale picked up steam as the city issued permits valued at $78.15 million in 2015, blowing away $19.61 million permit values reported in 2014. The Sam’s Furniture showroom’s $13.33 million price tag was among the largest permit valuation reported last year. The city also invested in its downtown with Turnbow Park as well as ongoing park and trail investments around the city. Looking ahead to 2015, the city has yet to issue the permit for its new Sam’s Club which will be built this year.

While commercial investment slightly edged out residential values in 2015, there was plenty of new homes built in the area. The four largest cities issued combined residential permits totaling $420 million in 2015, outpacing the 2014 values by 8.5%. The $33 million gain in residential permit values related to more than 1,650 new home starts last year and a 9% rise in average home prices based on the permits compared between the two years.

Local market data shows that new home prices rose 5% in Bentonville to $289,370, while Rogers saw the steepest price increase of 8% to $216,619.

Benton County builders picked up the pace in Bentonville and Rogers last year compared to 2014. Bentonville led the pack issuing 508 residential permits valued at $147 million for 2015, compared to 482 permits valued at  $142.448 million in 2014. Builders in Rogers began 420 new homes in 2015 with permits valued at $90.98 million, well ahead of the 349 homes worth $67.33 million in 2014.

In Washington County the residential market pace was mixed with builders pulling back in Fayetteville and pushing full steam ahead in Springdale. In Fayetteville there were nearly 400 new residential permits issued totaling $90.98 million. This sector declined from 482 permits valued at $119 million a year ago. In nearby Springdale builders were  hammering away at a hectic pace compared to prior years. The city planners issued 340 permits valued at $89.79 million for 2015, nearly double the $57.87 million reported for 2014.

2015: $252.887 million
2014: $296.954 million
down 14.8%

2015: $291.392 million
2014: $239.37 million
up 21.7%

2015: $191.49 million
2014: $159.57 million
up 20%

2015: $167.146 million
2014: $77.487 million
up 115%