Fort Smith metro building permits up 67.2% in January
The Fort Smith metro began the year off with a building boom thanks in large part to ongoing work at Mercy Fort Smith. Building permit values were up more than 65% in the three regional cities from the same time last year.
Building permits in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren totaled $51.09 million in January, up 47% from the $34.754 value of permits issued in the three cities in December, and up 67.2% from the $30.554 million reported in January 2022.
Fort Smith issued 310 permits in January with a value of $48.436 million, up 81.2% from the $26.742 million value of 274 permits issued in December and up 69.9% from the $28.509 million value of 155 permits issued in the first month of 2022.
There were 12 permits issued for new residential construction in January with a value of $2.987 million.This was up slightly (5.6%) from the $2.28 million value of 13 new residential permits issued in December but down 38.5% from the $4.86 million value of 25 new residential permits issued in January of last year.
There were no permits issued for new commercial projects in January, a big change from the $14.267 million value of six new commercial projects issued last month and the $10.561 million value of seven new commercial projects permitted in January 2022.
However, there was $31.754 million in permitted remodel and other work by Mercy Fort Smith for the hospital and medical facilities at 7301 Rogers Ave.
In February 2022, Mercy began work on an estimated $162 million expansion of the main Fort Smith hospital, which will expand its emergency department from 29 to 50 rooms and boost beds in the intensive care unit from 38 to 64. The new ER will allow for about 25,000 more patient visits per year and include “special considerations for infectious disease and behavioral health patients.” The ER expansion includes a five-room secured area for behavioral health patients that is designed for patient and co-worker safety.
There also was a permit issued in January for the $3 million renovation of the Jeffrey Unit of the Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club at 4905 N. O St.
VAN BUREN AND GREENWOOD
Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, had 59 projects permitted in January with a value of $1.71 million, down 77.9% from the $7.729 million value of 80 permits issued in December and down 8.1% from the $1.86 million value of 64 permits issued in January 2022.
The city issued five permits for residential construction with a value of $965,000, up 15.3% from the $837,000 value of eight residential permits issued in December but down 41.7% from the $1.655 million value of nine residential permits issued in January 2022.
There were four commercial permits issued with a value of $553,500, down 91.9% from the $6.845 million value of two commercial permits issued in December. There were no permits issued for commercial construction in January 2022.
Greenwood issued nine permits in January with a combined value of $945,200, up 234% from the $283,364 value of nine permits issued by the city in December and up 411% from the $185,043 value of 12 permits issued in January 2022.
The region ended 2022 with $480.376 million in permitted building activity, a 39.9% increase over the $343.289 million in 2021. 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 2022 with all three of the larger cities in the region seeing an increase in building numbers from 2021.
REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
Combined total for the three cities
2022: $480.376 million
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