Building permit values down 25% in Fort Smith metro

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 567 views 

The Fort Smith metro area’s building activity continues to lag behind last year with year-to-date activity down 25% from 2020, though February numbers were higher than February 2020 by 11.1% thanks to Van Buren and Greenwood.

The area’s three largest cities had $22.797 million in February building permits, a 16.3% decrease over the $27.246 million reported in January, but an 11.1% increase from the $20.52 million reported in February 2020. Year-to-date building activity is valued at $44.41 million, a 25% drop from the $59.22 million for the first two months of 2020.

Fort Smith issued 108 permits in February with a value of 17.42 million, a 32.3% decrease from the $25.74 million on the 134 permits issued in January. The value was a 6.3% decrease from the $18.6 million value of 166 permits issued in February 2020.

The city issued three permits for new commercial construction during the month with a total value of $1.25 million, up 8.7% from the $1.15 million on two new commercial projects in January and down 63.2% from the $3.4 million in new commercial projects permitted in February 2020. New construction includes a self-storage complex valued at $1 million being constructed at 8407 S. Zero St. by Amyco, Inc. of Fort Smith.

On the residential side, Fort Smith issued seven permits for new construction in February with a $1.8 million value, down 32.8% from the $2.68 million value on 11 permits for new residential construction issued in January and down 15.89% from the $2.14 million in new residential construction permits issued in February 2020.

Fort Smith’s building activity for January and February totals $36.03 million, down 29.5% from $51.1 million in the first couple of months of 2020.

Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, issued 52 permits in February with a total value of $5.26 million, a significant jump from the $370,000 value of 33 permits issued in January and a 64.4% increase from the $1.87 million value of 54 permits issued in February 2020. The monthly activity included $2.89 million in residential building, up 255% from the $814,000 in residential building in February 2020, and $2.34 million in commercial building, up 147% from the $948,000 in commercial construction in February 2020.

The February permits include a $2.34 million renovation of the Van Buren High School football stadium by Beshears Construction of Fort Smith. The renovation includes a new ticket and merchandise sales structure along with a visitor’s concession structure.

Drawing for expansion of Van Buren High School football stadium

Van Buren’s permit totals for the first two months of January were $7.13 million, down 7.16% from the $7.68 million in building activity for January and February 2020.

Greenwood is continuing its strong year, issuing nine permits valued at $122,520. While that is down 89% from the $1.139 million value on the 22 permits issued in January, it is a 143% increase from the $50,400 value of one permit issued in February 2020. Year to date, Greenwood has had $1.262 million in building activity in 2021, up 185% from the $441,954 for the first two months of 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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