The Fort Smith metro area dropped a bit in new construction in September, but year-to-date construction is up more than 20% thanks in large part to an almost 49% increase in the value of Fort Smith building permits.
Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren combined for $16.938 million in September permit values, down 54% from the $36.881 million in September 2022 and down 50.8% from the $34.442 million reported in August.
In the first three quarters of the year, the region has issued building permits valued at $424.855 million, up 20.5% compared to the $352.604 million reported through September 2022.
Fort Smith issued 320 permits in September with a combined value of $13.974 million, down 40.8% from the $23.586 million value of 309 permits issued in August, but up 13.9% from the $12.268 million value of 395 permits issued in September 2022. Year-to-date, Fort Smith has reported $386.861 million in building projects, up 48.7% from the $260.08 million reported through the first nine months of 2022.
There were nine permits issued for new residential construction in the month with a value of $1.934 million, down 22% from the $2.477 million value of 12 permits issued in August but almost three times as much as the $727,240 of five new residential construction permits issued in September 2022.
There were three permits issued for new commercial construction projects in September with a combined value of $2.223 million, down 81% from the $11.82 million value of five commercial construction projects permitted last month. There were no new commercial construction projects permitted in September of last year.
The new commercial construction included a $72,840 project at 201 N. Second St. by Charlotte Inc., which is only listed as a 1500-square-foot metal building; a $150,000 new Wing Stop at 4601 Grand Ave., by the Bryan and Sara Goodwin Family Trust; and a $2 million Let’s Go Carwash at 2121 S. Zero St. by Short Man LLC.
VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD
Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, had 122 projects permitted in September with a value of $2.072 million, down 66% from the $6.178 million value of 165 projects in August and down 90% from the $21.458 million value of 112 projects permitted in September 2022.
On the residential side, the city had $1.287 million in permitted building activity, down 58.7% from the $3.115 million value of residential building last month but up 17.7% from the $1.093 million in residential construction in September 2022.
There was $785,000 in permitted commercial activity in September, a 73.5% decrease from the $2.968 million in commercial construction in August and a 96% decrease from the $20.15 million in commercial construction in September 2022. In the first three quarters of the year, Van Buren has recorded $28.577 million in permitted activity, down 64.7% from the $80.9 million reported through September 2022, a year in which Van Buren experienced significant building growth.
Greenwood issued 16 permits in September with a combined value of $891,592, an 80.9% decrease from the $4.678 million value of 21 permits issued in August and a 71.7% decrease from the $3.155 million value of 27 permits issued in September of last year. From January through September, Greenwood has had $13.523 million in building projects permitted, up 16.3% from the $11.62 million in the first three quarters of 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