Construction in the Fort Smith metro has already set a new record in 2022. Greenwood, Van Buren and Fort Smith building permits totaled $445.622 million through the first 11 months of the year, up 48% compared with the same period in 2021.
The three cities had $32.153 million in recorded permit values in November, down 47.17% from the $60.85 million reported in October but up 107.8% from the $15.46 million reported in November 2021.
Fort Smith issued 397 permits in November with a value of $19.982 million, down 62.8% from the $53.739 million value with 407 permits issued in October, but up 53.7% from the $12.998 million value of 155 permits in November 2021. Year-to-date, the city has issued $333.639 million in building permits, up 29.7% from the $257.31 million issued in the first 11 months of 2021.
There were 9 permits issued for new residential construction in November with a value of $3.798 million, down 28% from the $5.286 value of 28 new residential construction permits issued in October and up1.82% from the $3.73 million on 21 new permits in November 2021.
There was one permit issued for new commercial construction in November, the $1.679 million new asphalt plant at 7401 U.S. 71 South issued to Judy Crawford Mechanical, Inc. Total new commercial construction is down 92.84% from the $23.482 million value of six new commercial construction projects permitted in October and down 70.69% from the $5.218 million value of three new commercial construction permits issued in November 2021.
However, a $1.49 million permit was issued to Pernod Ricard for its plant at 7401 Highway 45. Pernod Ricard USA announced Nov. 15 it is entering the ready-to-drink (RTD) market and doing so by investing $22 million into its Fort Smith plant. The investment will provide the facility with canning capabilities and add at least 50 jobs. The new high-speed line is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year, said Pierre Joncourt, senior vice president of Pernod Ricard North America.
The plant produces several Pernod Ricard spirits, including Kahlua Coffee Liqueur and Seagram’s Gin. The new canning line, and the RTD offerings they’ll be able to produce as a result, will give them an opportunity to help make popular brands like Jameson, Absolut, Malibu and TX Whiskey even more accessible to consumers.
VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD GAINS
Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, issued 64 permits in November with a value of $11.017 million, a 97% increase from the $5.491 million value of 115 permits issued in October and a 377% increase from the $2.31 million value of 82 permits issued in November 2021.
The city issued $290,000 in residential construction permits in the month, down from 58.9% from the $705,000 issued in October and down 81.5% from the $1.565 million in residential construction issued in November 2021.
There were three commercial construction permits with a value of $10.55 million issued in November, a 133% increase from the $4.529 million value of commercial construction permits issued in October and up significantly from the $160,000 in commercial construction permits issued in November 2021. Among the permits issued was a $5.35 million permit for new construction of a Bruckner’s Truck Center at 209 Rena Road in Van Buren, and a $5 million remodel project of the new Pediatric’s Plus at 2805 Alma Highway. The Pediatrics Plus is remodeling the old Safeway Store building that has been at the location since the late 1960s or 1970s, said David Martin, building official with the City of Van Buren.
Through the first 11 months of this year, Van Buren has $97.407 million in permitted activity, a 187.6% increase from the $33.86 million reported through November 2021.
Greenwood issued 11 permits in November with a combined value of $1.154 million, down 29.4% from the $1.635 million value of 10 permits issued in October, but a 664% increase from the $150,997 value of 15 permits issued in November 2021.
Greenwood’s year-to-date total of $14.417 million is 44.6% higher than the $9.97 million in permit values issued in the first 11 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