April building permit values up more than 100% in Fort Smith metro

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 774 views 

April building permit values in the Fort Smith metro were down from March but were well above where they were last year. Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren combined for $45.79 million in April building permit values, up 108% from the $22.019 million reported in April 2022.

The April numbers were down 24.5% from the $60.633 million reported in March.

Year-to-date the region has issued building permits valued at $210.975 million, up 32.8% compared with the $158.913 million in the first four months of 2022.

Fort Smith issued 286 permits in April with a combined value of $44.041 million, down 23.8% from the $57.795 million value of 327 permits issued in March, but up 198.6% from the $14.749 million value of 213 permits issued in April 2022. Year-to-date Fort Smith has reported $196.278 million in building projects, up 86.9% from the $105.001 million reported through April of 2022.

There were 17 permits issued for new residential construction in the month with a value of $3.776 million, down 20.8% from the $4.77 million value of 14 permits issued in March. The total is up 23.1% from the $3.068 million value of 14 new residential construction permits issued in April 2022.

Once again there was only one permit issued for new commercial construction in April – a $2 million permit for a new commercial building at 7501 Massard Drive to Fuentes Development. Jimmie Deer, director of building services for the city of Fort Smith, said the project is phase one of a business complex. The total for new commercial construction is down 42.9% from the one permit for $3.5 million issued in March and down 50% from the $4 million value of two permits for new commercial construction issued in April 2022.

Though there was only one new commercial construction permit issued in the month, a $10.025 million permit for “other” in commercial projects was issued to Mercy Hospital for work at 7301 Rogers Ave. Mercy began work on the main Fort Smith hospital in February 2022. Work on the $186 million project includes expansion of its emergency department from 29 to 50 rooms, boost beds in the intensive care unit from 38 to 64, and add 140 more parking spaces, with parking closer to the new ER entrance.

VAN BUREN AND GREENWOOD
Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, had 92 projects permitted in April with a value of $1.433 million, up 12.8% from the $1.27 million value of 64 projects in March, but down 73.4% from the $5.38 million value of 78 projects in April 2022.

The city issued three permits for residential construction with a combined value of $577,200, a 51.9% drop from the $1.2 million value of nine residential construction projects in March and an 86% drop from the $4.074 million value of residential construction projects permitted in April 2022.

There were two commercial construction projects in April with a combined value of $810,000, almost 12 times more than the $70,000 value of one commercial construction project permitted in March, but a 30% decrease from the $1.157 million value of commercial construction projects in April 2022. In the first four months of the year, Van Buren has recorded $11.419 million in permitted activity, down 76.7% from the $49.024 million through April 2022, a year in which Van Buren experienced significant building growth.

Greenwood issued 13 permits with a combined value of $317,660 in April, down 78.4% from the $1.468 million value of 26 permits in March and down 83% from the $1.89 million value of 14 permits issued in April 2022. In the first four months of the year, Greenwood has had $3.28 million in building projects permitted, down 32% from the $4.888 million through April 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