January building permit values down almost 30% in the Fort Smith metro

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 993 views 

The Fort Smith region did not jump out of the gate with high building permit values like it did in January 2020, but January’s numbers were an increase from those reported in December.

The Fort Smith metro’s three largest cities had $27.246 million in permitted building activity in January, a 42.97% increase over the $19.057 million reported in December, and a 29.6% drop from the $38.702 million reported in January 2020.

Fort Smith issued 134 permits in January with a value of $25.74 million, a 47.3% increase over the $17.47 million value of the 167 permits issued in December. The value was a 20.9% decrease from the $32.5 million value of 150 permits issued a year ago in January 2020.

The city issued two permits for new commercial construction during the month with a total value of $1.15 million, down 34% from the $1.768 million on two new commercial projects in December and down 95.5% from the $25.91 million in new commercial projects permitted in January 2020. The larger of those two projects was an $800,000 new Dollar General at 7601 Zero St.

There were two large remodel permits for commercial construction issued in January – $5.09 million for the airport warehouse on Greenwood Road and $11.4 million to turn the former Hutcheson shoe manufacturing building at 5900 Painter Lane into Fort Smith Public School’s Peak Innovation Center. FSPS held a Dec. 7 groundbreaking ceremony for the center, which is expected to be open for the 2021-22 school year. The facility will be a regional career and technology center with a focus on instructional strategies within the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) disciplines.

On the residential side, Fort Smith issued 11 permits for new construction in December with a $2.68 million value, down 33.8% from the $4.05 million value on 13 permits for new residential construction issued in December and up 67.5% from the $1.6 million in new residential construction permits issued in January 2020.

Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, issued 33 permits in January with a total value of $370,000, a 75% decrease from the $1.491 million value of 65 permits issued in December and a 93.6% decrease from the $5.81 million value of 40 permits issued in January 2020. The monthly activity included $310,000 in residential building and $40,000 in commercial building. The remainder was for a swimming pool and sign permits.

Greenwood had a good start to the year, issuing 22 permits valued at $1.139 million in January, up more than 10 times the $100,250 value of 18 permits issued in December and up 191% from the $391,554 value of seven permits issued in January 2020.

The region ended the 2020 with $264.757 million in permitted building activity, a 9.52% increase over the $241.741 million in 2019. The gain came mostly from Fort Smith, as Van Buren and Greenwood showed drops in their building numbers from 2019.

REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
Combined total for the three cities
2020: $264.757 million
2019: $241.741 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

Fort Smith
2020: $234.165 million
2019: $204.285 million
2018: $187.678 million
2017: $169.958 million
2016: $185.783 million
2015: $191.631 million

Van Buren
2020: $20.569 million
2019: $28.221 million
2018: $37.946 million
2017: $19.665 million
2016: $15.327 million
2015: $16.009 million

Greenwood
2020: $7.990 million
2019: $9.235 million
2018: $6.156 million
2017: $15.23 million
2016: $10.235 million
2015: $11.259 million

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