Fort Smith metro finishes year with $210 million in building activity, Van Buren and Greenwood post gains

by Aric Mitchell ([email protected]) 549 views 

Building activity in the Fort Smith region ended a topsy-turvy 2017 just slightly off from 2016 totals. While the decrease in activity could be much worse — and was down over 10% through July — it rebounded to a virtually flat year-to-year performance on the back of strong numbers in August, October, and November.

For December, the region — permits for Fort Smith, Van Buren, and Greenwood — slid back into the red with $10.565 million in overall valuations, a drop of 36.19% from December 2016’s $16.556 million. But the later months surged July’s slump to just 0.24% off from 2016’s total. For the year, the region finished with $210.844 million against $211.345 million in 2016.

The region’s largest city accounted for most of December’s tally with $8.488 million in valuations on 126 permits. However, that was a fall of 45.97% month-to-month from December 2016’s $15.709 million.

The majority of recent activity came on the commercial side with $5.458 million of permitting compared to $1.626 million residential. Major ticket items include a development at 4501-4509-4511 Phoenix Avenue that will include Tacos 4 Life and two tenants to be determined. Closeby at 4621-4625 Phoenix Avenue, there is a $1.2 million development that will house AT&T Retail and Mattress Firm stores.

The month’s permits also show a $900,000 item for duplexes at 4601 Jenny Lind Road and $450,000 for remodeling at PRADCO, 3613 Jenny Lind Road. In November, the fishing lure manufacturer announced it would be adding 60 jobs, which follow a 25-job pickup in early 2016 and 64 jobs added to its YUM fishing lure production line since January 2017. After the latest batch of jobs are added, the Fort Smith plant will be home to around 290 employees.

CITY PERFORMANCE BREAKDOWN
For the year, Fort Smith trailed the previous year with $169.958 million against $185.783 million — a decline of 8.52%. While numbers were soft, the city finished September down 13.46%, so the last three months of the year resulted in a 5% rally.

Performing better than the previous year were the cities of Greenwood and Van Buren. Greenwood reported $797,175 in valuations on four permits against last December’s $555,660, an increase of approximately 43.47%, with most — $572,175 on two permits — falling on the residential side.

Van Buren surged 338.36% with $1.28 million in valuations on 32 projects against December 2016’s $292,000 tally. The city’s lone commercial project was a $765,000 remodel at 2805 Alma Highway, the site of Breeden RV Center Van Buren. For the year, both cities are up with Greenwood improving 48.8% to $15.23 million against $10.235 million and Van Buren besting its previous performance by 28.3% with $19.665 million against $15.327 million the previous year.

REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
Combined total for the three cities
2017: $210.844 million
2016: $211.345 million
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
2017: $169.958 million
2016: $185.783 million
2015: $191.631 million
2014: $174.252 million
2013: $185.057 million
2012: $136.248 million

Van Buren
2017: $19.665 million
2016: $15.327 million
2015: $16.009 million
2014: $7.918 million
2013: $8.283 million
2012: $8.609 million

Greenwood
2017: $15.23 million
2016: $10.235 million
2015: $11.259 million
2014: $16.813 million
2013: $9.049 million
2012: $9.983 million

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