Fort Smith metro building activity up 54% in November, still playing catchup for the year

by Aric Mitchell (aric.mitchell@gmail.com) 30 views 

Fort Smith building activity momentum gained in November, but not enough to catch it up year-to-date, following a large deficit last month that eroded gains from July through September.

In October 2015, the city posted a $42.135 million building permit for the ArcBest corporate headquarters expansion at 8401 McClure Drive, which made up most of the $50.376 million valuation. Comparatively, last month’s figure tallied just $12.708 million, a reduction of around 75%.

The fallback placed the city behind once more just as it stayed through the first six months of 2016 due to the lack of a new construction equivalent to 2015’s $22 million permit issued to the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

However, the tri-city region saw noteworthy gains in Fort Smith and Van Buren during November. The metro region, which consists primarily 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.

During the last 30 days, Fort Smith posted $12.83 million in permit values compared to $8.327 million in November 2015, a gain of 54.1%. For the first 11 months of 2016, Fort Smith is at $171.966 million compared to $179.494 million for the same period last year.

Combined numbers for the tri-city region through November are $196.682 million compared to $205.731 million in 2015, a drop of 4.4%.

In November, Fort Smith saw 301 total permits as roof repairs from the April 29 hailstorm continued to slow in frequency, though they still accounted for 180 of the total permits. The largest commercial filing was for roof repair in the amount of $1.5 million, issued for the QualServ building at 7400 S. 28th St. Overall, Fort Smith’s commercial building side posted $5.875 million on 48 permits while residential and multi-family accounted for the remainder.

VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD
Van Buren’s November permits totaled $1.279 million on 50 projects, a 52.7% increase from last year’s $838,000 total. Most permitting activity was on the commercial side, with a $750,000 permit for new construction at 600 South Co-Op Drive, the site of Simmons Foods. Through the first 11 months of the year, the city logged $15.036 million in permits against 2015’s $15.504 million, down approximately 3.1% year-to-date.

Greenwood fell far short of November 2015’s output with just $354,840 in valuations on five permits against the previous $941,774. The city had moved closer to break-even following a strong performance last month, which showed a large year-over-year increase that doubled the numbers from October 2015 ($1.716 million against $851,640). Most activity came on the residential side. For the first 11 months of 2016, Greenwood has posted $9.68 million in permit values against $10.733 million for the same period in 2015.

REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
Combined total for the three cities
2015: $225.78 million (With 91.67% of the year complete, the 2016 YTD is at 87.11% 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 91.67% of the year complete, the 2016 YTD is at 89.86% of the 2015 total.)
2014: $174.252 million
2013: $185.057 million
2012: $136.248 million

Van Buren
2015: $20.708 million (With 91.67% of the year complete, the 2016 YTD is at 72.6% of the 2015 total.)
2014: $7.918 million
2013: $8.283 million
2012: $8.609 million

Greenwood
2015: $13.703 million (With 91.67% of the year complete, the 2016 YTD is at 70.64% of the 2015 total.)
2014: $16.813 million
2013: $9.049 million
2012: $9.983 million

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