As temperatures soared in August, construction stayed steady in the Fort Smith metro area. Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren combined for $34.442 million in August permit values, up 20.8% from the $28.513 million in August 2022.
The combined August tally was up 29.7% from the $26.564 million reported in July.
In the first eight months of the year, the region has issued building permits valued at $407.917 million, up 29.2% compared to the $315.723 million reported through August 2022.
Fort Smith issued 309 permits in August with a combined value of $23.586 million, up 9.7% from the $21.505 million value of 436 permits issued in July but down 5.26% from the $24.896 million value of 491 permits issued in August 2022. Year-to-date, Fort Smith has reported $372.887 million in building projects, up 50.5% from the $247.812 million reported through the first eight months of 2022.
There were 12 permits issued for new residential construction in the month with a value of $2.477 million, up 47% from the $1.682 million value of nine permits issued in July and up 22% from the $2.03 million value of five permits issued for new residential construction in August 2022.
There were five permits issued for new commercial construction projects in August with a combined value of $11.82 million, up 248% from the $3.4 million value of three commercial construction projects permitted last month and up 78% from the $6.64 million value of three new commercial construction projects permitted in August 2022.
The new commercial construction included a $363,000 mini storage facility at 5608 Zero St., by 1913 Capital, LLC.; a $350,000 clubhouse at 11601 Kenwood Drive in Chaffee Crossing by Maple Park DRB Properties; and a $400,000 white box (or vanilla shell), commercial construction project at 6234 Massard Road by Huntington Circle Properties.
It also includes a $2.737 million new carwash at 4620 Greenwood Road by Steven D. Riggs Living Trust and a $7.97 million mini storage facility at 6234 Massard Drive by Dustin and Dwight Caughern.
VAN BUREN AND GREENWOOD
Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, had 165 projects permitted in August with a value of $6.178 million, up 153% from the $2.444 million combined value of 120 projects in July and up 118% from the $2.831 million of 135 projects permitted in August 2022.
On the residential side, the city had $3.115 million in permitted building activity, up 80% from the $1.73 million value of residential building last month and up 65% from the $1.888 million in residential construction in August 2022.
There was $2.968 million in permitted commercial activity in August, which included a $2.358 million new Whataburger at 1716 Fayetteville Road. Commercial construction was up 351% from the $648,500 in commercial construction in July and 490% from the $503,000 in commercial construction in August 2022. In the first eight months of the year, Van Buren has recorded $22.399 million in permitted activity, down 62% from the $59.442 million reported through August 2022, a year in which Van Buren experienced significant building growth.
Greenwood issued 21 permits in July with a combined value of $4.678 million, up 78.9% from the $2.615 million value of 17 permits issued in July and495% from the $786,381 value of 12 permits issued in August 2022.
Permitted activity included $1 million on a new Dollar General at 1410 E. Center St., and $2.2 in construction work on the new medical clinic at 420 Liberty Drive. Mercy Fort Smith broke ground on the new $7.96 million facility that will be Mercy Clinic Family Medicine – Greenwood on July 11. The new clinic is expected to be completed in 18 months, opening in late 2024. It will replace the current Mercy Clinic at 20 N. Aster St.
From January through August, Greenwood has had $12.631 million in building projects permitted, up 49.1% from the $8.473 million through August 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