Fort Smith area building permit values down almost 10% in January-June period

by Aric Mitchell (aric.mitchell@gmail.com) 36 views 

For the first six months of 2016, Fort Smith and Greenwood experienced a dip in overall building permit values while Van Buren saw a slight uptick. Combined permit values for the three cities during the six months were down 9.6% to $93.944 million from $103.923 million in the same period of 2015.

Fort Smith dropped to $81.001 million in total permit values from $90.145 million through June of 2015, representing a 10.14% reduction that was driven largely by the absence of a major project like last year’s new construction of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine at Chaffee Crossing. Greenwood dipped to $5.544 million year-to-date from $6.756 million during the same period in 2015, a 17.93% decrease.

Fort Smith has spent the year trying to play catchup to 2015’s $22 million new construction permit for the osteopathic medicine facility. The city has made up considerable ground since April with a 26.53% increase in May and a 306% increase in June from the same 30-day periods last year.

Over the last 30, total permit values were $27.437 million compared to $8.942 million the previous year. Most of this increase is driven by $16.379 million in residential building, including $4.35 million for new construction and more than $11 million for structural and roof repairs in the fallout of a damaging hailstorm that hit the city at the end of April.

The city issued 65 building permits for commercial development totaling $4.652 million in value. The biggest line items here were for new construction (two permits, $1.719 million) and – in keeping with the theme of hailstorm fallout – roof repair (20 permits, $988,548).

An additional 13 roof repair permits were issued for duplex and multi-family housing totaling $160,467 in value. Overall for the month of June, 648 individual roof repair permits – commercial and residential – were issued by the city totaling $6.112 million, an average of $9,432 per issuance.

June numbers for Greenwood were at four permits for a total value of $784,125, most of which came in the form of a new construction residential permit totaling $436,625. The overall numbers are down considerably year-to-year. In June 2015, there were six permits issued for a total valuation of $2.779 million, most of which came on the commercial side with construction of the Tractor Supply Co. at 2815 W. Center St., accounting for $2.422 million of that total.

THE VAN BUREN BUMP
In contrast, Van Buren rose above 2015 levels with total permit values of $7.398 million through the first six months, an increase of around 5.1% compared to last year’s $7.021 million figure. New home construction drove most of the city’s growth, accounting for $4.551 million of the overall pie while $2.47 million came through new commercial construction.

For June, Van Buren issued 122 permits with a value of $1.203 million. Single family residential accounted for $374,300 of that on 15 permits – down from $516,000 last year – while the commercial side claimed the largest share at $747,847 on four permit, up from $30,500 last year.

The overall numbers are almost double that of the June 2015 report, which shows a total value of $662,200 on 60 permits.

REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
Combined total for the three cities
2015: $225.78 million
2014: $198.983 million
2013: $202.389 million
2012: $154.640 million
2011: $201.079 million
2010: $149 million
2009: $164 million

Fort Smith
2015: $191.369 million
2014: $174.252 million
2013: $185.057 million
2012: $136.248 million

Greenwood
2015: $20.708 million
2014: $7.918 million
2013: $8.283 million
2012: $8.609 million

Van Buren
2015: $13.703 million
2014: $16.813 million
2013: $9.049 million
2012: $9.983 million

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