Regional permits down in October but up almost 35% for the year

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 813 views 

Residential construction work at Chaffee Crossing in east Fort Smith.

Building activity in the Fort Smith region declined in October, but the industry is still on pace for annual growth. For the first 10 months of the year, permitted building in the region is up 34.7% from the same period in 2019.

Building permits issued in Fort Smith, Van Buren and Greenwood in October had a combined value of $11.125 million, down 69% from September’s combined $35.94 million, and down 18.3% decrease from the $13.617 million in permitted activity in October 2019.

But the $235.775 million in permits issued through October is a 34.7% increase from the $175.085 million during the same period in 2019.

Fort Smith issued 184 permits in October with a value of $8.08 million, a $75.96% decrease from the $33.63 million value of the 171 permits issued in September and a 28.75% decrease from the $11.346 million value of 217 permits issued in October 2019. Year-to-date permitted activity in the city is $209.914 million, up 44.14% over the $145.636 million issued in the first 10 months of 2019.

The city issued three permits for new commercial construction during the month for a total of $2.88 million, a drastic drop from the $21.657 million value of the four permits for new commercial construction issued in September but an equally dramatic increase from the $500,000 value of two permits for commercial construction in October 2019.

One of the new commercial construction permits issued was $505,000 on a new community building for the Fort Smith Boys Shelter at 5904 Zero St., $775,000 for Pain Management of Fort Smith’s new building at 2707 Market Trace and $1.6 million for a new events building at 8700 Massard Road.

Dr. Kalyan Akkineni, an internal medicine specialist with Baptist Health-Fort Smith, and his wife, Suparna, purchased an 11-acre tract of land in Chaffee Crossing from the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority. The events center on Massard Road will focus on birthdays, banquets, general entertainment and other events. The couple also will build a wedding venue. Plans for that venue include a covered porch, balcony, bride and groom dressing areas, and an event area for receptions. Work has not started on it.

On the residential building side, the city of Fort Smith issued permits for $2.104 million in new construction in October, down 6.49% from the $2.25 million of new construction permits issued in September and down 21.96% from $2.696 million issued for new residential construction issued in October 2019.

VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD WORK
Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, issued 55 permits valued at $2.272 million in October, a 41.1% increase from the 70 permits valued at $1.61 million in September. The total was a 112.9% increase from the $1.067 million value of the 50 permits issue in October 2019.

Van Buren’s total permit valuation included 15 residential construction permits for construction valued at $1.521 million and two commercial construction projects with a value of $750,000.

Van Buren’s year-to-date total permitted activity is $18.532 million, down 0.56% from the $18.637 million issued in the first 10 months of 2019.

Greenwood issued 17 permits valued at $769,626 in October, up 9.07% from the $705,652 value of 28 permits issued in September. The total value of permitted activity in October is a 24.91% decrease from the $1.025 million value of eight permits issued in October 2019. Through October, Greenwood has issued $7.33 million worth of building permits, a 10.04% decrease from the $8.148 million issued in the first 10 months of 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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