Fort Smith metro building permit values up almost 40% through August

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 960 views 

August building activity in the Fort Smith metro declined after an active July, but the year’s activity is far ahead of this time in 2021. The year-to-date total in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren is $315.723 million, up 38.9% from the $227.31 million in the same period of 2021.

The three cities had $28.513 million in permit values in August, down 35.9% from the $44.46 million in August 2021 and 67.7% from the 88.152 million in total permit values in July.

Fort Smith issued 491 permits in August with a value of $24.896 million, down 70% from the $82.934 million value of 616 permits issued in July and down 39.4% from the $41.08 million value of 187 permits issued in August 2021. Year-to-date, Fort Smith has issued $247.812 million in building permits, up 24.8% from the $198.631 million issued in the first eight months of 2021.

There were five permits issued for new residential construction in August with a value of $2.03 million, down 39.5% from the $3.356 million value of five new residential construction permits issued in July, but up 30.97% from the $1.55 million in August 2021.

New commercial construction slowed in Fort Smith last month with only three permits issued for new projects with a combined value of $6.64 million, down 76.9% from the $28.712 million value of five new commercial construction projects permitted in July and down 69.4% from the $21.73 million value in August 2021.

New commercial construction projects included a new $4.692 million Pain Treatment Center of America location at 8306 Massard Creek Court, and a $1.373 multi-tenant building at 3106 74th St. Jesse Bennet with the city of Fort Smith said KMW Properties did not specify what would go into the commercial building, but there will be lease space for three different tenants.

The building permit for Fort Smith’s first Whataburger at 8120 Phoenix Ave., also was issued in August. The Fort Smith Board of Directors approved a rezoning request for the $573,213 fast food restaurant that will have both drive-thru and indoor dining on July 12. There is not a specific opening date has been announced, but Robert Tanner, who oversees the operations for WAB Venture, said the plan is to open in the late fall.

VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD GAINS
Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, issued 135 permits in August with a combined value of $2.831 million, down 35.4% from the $4.382 million value of 114 permits issued in July and up 9.27% from the $2.59 million value of 99 permits issued in August of last year.

The city issued $1.888 million in residential construction permits in the month, down 56.2% from the $4.382 million in residential permits in July and 23.9% from the $2.48 million in residential permits in August 2021. The city had $503,000 in commercial construction permits compared to no commercial projects in July or August 2021. Through the first eight months of the year, Van Buren has $59.442 million in permitted activity, a 176% increase from the $21.519 million reported through August 2021.

Greenwood issued 12 permits in August with a combined value of $786,381, a decrease of 5.9% from the $836,002 value of 28 permits in July and a 0.94% decrease from the $793,835 value of 19 permits issued in August 2021. Of the permits issued was a permit for ground up construction of 10 new triplexes consisting of 4,268 square feet per building on 10 lots at 1829 Linwood Drive with a permitted value of $480,000.

Greenwood’s year-to-date total of $8.473 million is 18.3% higher than the $7.164 million in permit values issued in the first eight months of 2021.

The Fort Smith region ended 2021 with $343.289 million in permitted building activity, up 29% over the $265.975 million in 2020. The Fort Smith metro has seen continuous growth over the  past several years, but no recent year has performed as well in building activity as 2021 with all three of the larger cities in the region seeing an increase in building numbers from 2020.

REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
Combined total for the three cities
2021: $343.289 million
2020: $265.975 million
2019: $241.741 million
2018: $231.78 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