Construction rebounded in the Fort Smith metro in June with permitted building activity four times greater than in June 2022. Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren combined for $91.877 million in June permit values, up 307% from $22.549 million in June 2022.
The combined June tally also was up 108.5% from the $44.057 million reported in May.
In the first half of the year, the region has issued building permits valued at $346.911 million, up 74.26% compared with the $199.07 million in the first six months of 2022.
Fort Smith issued 777 permits in June with a combined value of $89.996 million, up 117% from the $41.522 million value of 703 permits issued in May and up 364% from the $19.382 million value of 668 permits issued in June 2022. Year-to-date Fort Smith has reported $327.796 million in building projects, up 134.2% from the $199.07 million reported through June 2022.
There were 39 permits issued for new residential construction in the month with a value of $8.851 million, up 31.9% from the $6.711 million value of 29 permits issued in May and 146% from the $3.592 million value of 20 permits issued in June 2022.
There were two permits issued for new commercial construction with a combined value of $8.685 million, down 34.5% from the $13.259 million value of three commercial construction projects last month and 589% from the $1.26 million value of one new commercial construction permitted in June 2022.
The new commercial construction included a $3 million new retail shopping center project at 4520 Phoenix Ave., by SKALA Investments of Little Rock and a $5.685 million project at 7209 Chad Colley Boulevard by Arkansas College of Health Education. ACHE is building 16 townhomes near the campus. The for-students only townhomes will be ACHE owned and are expected to be completed in May to June 2024. There will be one- and two-bedroom units, said Susan Devero, ACHe vice president of marketing and communications.
The city also issued a building permit in June to Owens Corning for its fourth major construction project in the past two years at its building at 5401 Excelsior Drive, this one a $47.7 million renovation project.
VAN BUREN AND GREENWOOD
Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, had 175 projects permitted in June with a value of $1.084 million, down 14.9% from the $1.274 million combined value of 118 projects permitted in May and 20.1% from the $1.357 million value 72 permits issued in June 2022.
On the residential side, the city had $1.063 million in permitted building activity, 13.1% less than the $1.223 million value of residential building last month and 6.6% more than the $997,000 in residential construction in June 2022.
There was no permitted commercial activity in June as compared to $11,000 in May and $240,000 in commercial construction in June 2022. In the first half of the year, Van Buren has recorded $13.777 million in permitted activity, down 73.6% from the $52.229 million reported through the first six months of 2022, a year in which Van Buren experienced significant building growth.
Greenwood issued six permits in June with a combined value of $797,188, 36.8% less than the $1.261 million combined value of 14 permits issued in May and 55.7% less than the $1.8 million value of five permits issued in June 2022. From January through June, Greenwood has had $5.338 million in building projects permitted, down 22.1% from the $6.851 million through June 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