Fort Smith metro building activity begins 2017 with 84% increase in permit values

by Aric Mitchell (aric.mitchell@gmail.com) 231 views 

Fort Smith metro building activity started 2017 with significant gains from the same period last year with Fort Smith and Van Buren leading the way.

The metro region, which consists primarily of Fort Smith, Van Buren, and Greenwood, saw massive gains from January 2016 with Fort Smith posting the highest valuation ($15.537 million compared to $8.049 million) and Van Buren the highest percentage increase (628%).

After finishing 2016 down 2.3% from 2015 activity, activity rebounded with a combined total of $17.464 million in January against $9.508 million from the previous year, an overall gain of close to 84%.

On the Fort Smith side, commercial activity accounted for almost half of the overall valuation at $7.31 million on 39 permits. From that total, only two permits totaling $2.16 million were for new construction, including a $1.2 million permit issued to Gateway Construction for 7801 Phoenix Ave., the site of Phoenix East Medical Clinic, and a second at 3100 McKinley Ave, in the amount of $960,000 for a Bill White auto retail facility. The largest commercial valuation was for $3 million — a remodel permit issued to Glatfelter Advanced Materials, which moved to acquire the old Mitsubishi wind turbine plant at Chaffee Crossing in early 2016. The company expects to employ 83 by the end of 2017.

In other permitting activity, roof repairs from the hailstorm of April 29, 2016, continued to play a role with $1.223 million logged on the commercial side and $507,494 on the residential.

VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD
Van Buren’s January permits totaled $1.074 million on 38 projects, a 628.6% increase from last year’s $171,000. Most activity came on the residential side with $685,000 in valuations ($585,000 single family, $100,000 duplex multi-family). Commercially, the city added another $387,000 in permits with $57,000 for a Sonic Drive-In addition and $330,000 for new construction at Five Rivers Distribution.

While Greenwood slipped from the previous year, private building activity increased. Greenwood’s January totals finished at $853,215 on six permits (all private, residential) compared to $1.288 million from the same period last year. However, the January 2016 numbers were fueled in part by a public sector $605,442 addition at 70 Bell Road, the site of the Greenwood Fire Department. Removing the public permit from the equation, Greenwood’s private activity saw an increase from $682,860, a gain of approximately 25%.

REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
Combined total for the three cities
2016: $213.734 million (With 8.33% of the year complete, the 2017 YTD is at 8.17% of the 2016 total)
2015: $218.899 million
2014: $198.983 million
2013: $202.389 million
2012: $154.64 million
2011: $201.079 million
2010: $149 million
2009: $164 million

Fort Smith
2016: $187.675 million (With 8.33% of the year complete, the 2017 YTD is at 8.28% of the 2016 total)
2015: $191.631 million
2014: $174.252 million
2013: $185.057 million
2012: $136.248 million

Van Buren
2016: $15.328 million (With 8.33% of the year complete, the 2017 YTD is at 7% of the 2016 total)
2015: $16.009 million
2014: $7.918 million
2013: $8.283 million
2012: $8.609 million

Greenwood
2016: $10.731 million (With 8.33% of the year complete, the 2017 YTD is at 7.95% of the 2016 total)
2015: $11.259 million
2014: $16.813 million
2013: $9.049 million
2012: $9.983 million

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