Fort Smith building activity continues to build on its come-from-behind performance after starting the year soft due to the absence of a new construction equivalent to 2015’s $22 million permit issued to the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The metro region, which consists of Fort Smith, Van Buren, and Greenwood, depends on Fort Smith activity to determine gains or losses since that is where most commercial and residential permitting occurs.
For the first half of 2016, Fort Smith wasn’t doing its part, but that changed in July as permit values moved past the first seven months of 2015, posting a 3.3% gain. The city has expanded its gains since then with strong performances in August and September.
Combined numbers for the tri-city region through September are $168.336 million versus $145.342 million in 2015, a gain of approximately 15.88%. Fort Smith leads the way, rising 20.8% with $148.061 million in valuations through the third quarter compared to $122.57 million during the same period last year.
For the last 30 days, Fort Smith posted a $28.668 million valuation on 993 permits compared to $21.573 million during September 2015. Much of the activity – and two-thirds of the permits – were driven by roof repairs calling back to a devastating hailstorm from April 29 of this year. There were two noteworthy new commercial construction permits – a $1.627 million permit issued to Stonebridge Construction for a Furniture Factory Outlet Home store at 8300 U.S. 71 South and a 53,000-square foot Fairfield Inn & Suites at 7601 Phoenix Ave., featuring 94 guest rooms with a permit value of $6.25 million. The hotel is expected to be finished by the summer of 2017.
VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD
Van Buren’s September permits totaled $621,900 on 107 projects, way short of last year’s $3.208 million total. Most of last year’s chunk came from a $2.6 million permit for new construction issued to Baldwin and Shell Construction for a Truck Centers of America facility at 129 Access Road. Without the large permit, Van Buren’s 2016 activity would be ahead of 2015’s by approximately $2 million. Through the first nine months of the year, the city has logged $12.665 million in permits against 2015’s $13.831 million, down 8.4% year-to-date.
Greenwood’s numbers continue to trail for the year despite two slight gains in August and September. For the last 30, the city logged a $660,048 valuation on six permits with most activity falling on the residential side. The number was up about 7.43% from September 2015, but it was not enough to catch up to the $8.941 million in permits logged through the first nine months of 2015. Year-to-date, Greenwood has a $7.61 million valuation, a decline of about 14.9% from the same period last year.
REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
• Combined total for the three cities
2015: $225.78 million (With 75% of the year complete, the 2016 YTD is at 74.56% of the 2015 total.)
2014: $198.983 million
2013: $202.389 million
2012: $154.64 million
2011: $201.079 million
2010: $149 million
2009: $164 million
• Fort Smith
2015: $191.369 million (With 75% of the year complete, the 2016 YTD is at 77.37% of the 2015 total.)
2014: $174.252 million
2013: $185.057 million
2012: $136.248 million
• Van Buren
2015: $20.708 million (With 75% of the year complete, the 2016 YTD is at 61.16% of the 2015 total.)
2014: $7.918 million
2013: $8.283 million
2012: $8.609 million
2015: $13.703 million (With 75% of the year complete, the 2016 YTD is at 55.54% of the 2015 total.)
2014: $16.813 million
2013: $9.049 million
2012: $9.983 million