Building permits up almost 84% through the first half of 2020

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 531 views 

For the first month this year, building activity in the Fort Smith metro area came in below what it did at the same time in 2019, but activity in the first half of 2020 still was almost twice as much as the first half of 2019.

The region issued building permits valued at $14.49 million in June, a drop of 6.59% from May’s $13.59 million and a drop of 43.7% from the $25.74 million in June 2019. But the region is still ahead for the year with total permitted activity of $167.09 million for the first half of 2020, 83.99% above the $90.813 million permitted in the first six months of 2019. Building activity in 2019 was hampered by record Arkansas River flooding that began in May.

The region’s largest city, Fort Smith, issued 193 permits in June with a value of $12.04 million, an increase of 29.98% from the $9.26 million on 161 permits issued in May, but a decrease of 46.2% from the $22.37 million on 229 permits issued in June 2019. The city issued $7.13 million in new commercial projects in June, up significantly from the $2.695 million in May. June’s new commercial permits were a 223% increase from the $2.21 million in new commercial issued in June 2019.

The June projects include a new $2.97 million Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar at 4306 Phoenix Ave. and the $2.28 million River Valley Community Church at 7700 Wells Lake Road in Chaffee Crossing. Walk-On’s is a Cajun-themed restaurant/sports bar co-owned by football star Drew Brees. It opened locations in Conway in 2019 and Rogers earlier this spring. The chain has more than 100 locations in the works across 15 states. Walk-On’s founders Brandon Landry and Jack Warner were “walk-on’s” with Louisiana State University’s basketball team, according to a news release. They introduced their Walk-On’s restaurant concept in 2003. Brees, an NFL All-Pro Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, joined the company as co-owner in 2015.

On the residential side, June looked a lot like May. The city issued $1.69 million in new residential construction, an 8.19% increase from the $1.56 issued in May but a 79.5% decrease from $8.23 million issued in June 2019 on new residential construction.

Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, issued 62 permits valued at $1.34 million, an 8.46% increase from the $1.24 million issued on 53 permits in May and 26.39% decrease from the $1.83 million issued on 42 permits in June 2019. Van Buren’s total permit value for the month includes $637,401 in residential construction and $648,000 in commercial construction. By comparison, there was $377,000 in residential construction and $1.45 million in commercial construction in June last year.

Greenwood issued 8 permits valued at $1.105 million in May, a 64% decrease from $3.07 million on 14 permits in May and a 28.5% decrease from the $1.543 million in June 2019.

REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
Combined total for the three cities
2019: $238.752 million
2018: $231.780 million
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
2019: $204.008 million
2018: $187.678 million
2017: $169.958 million
2016: $185.783 million
2015: $191.631 million
2014: $174.252 million

Van Buren
2019: $27.731 million
2018: $37.946 million
2017: $19.665 million
2016: $15.327 million
2015: $16.009 million
2014: $7.918 million

Greenwood
2019: $7.013 million
2018: $6.156 million
2017: $15.23 million
2016: $10.235 million
2015: $11.259 million
2014: $16.813 million

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