Fort Smith metro building permit values down almost 60% through May

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 900 views 

Fort Smith metro building activity dropped significantly in May. Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren reported combined May building permit values of $17.927 million, down 59.3% compared to the $44.057 million in May 2023.

The May numbers were down 52.8% from the $37.982 million in April. Year-to-date the region has issued $103.438 million in building permits, down 59.4% from the $255.035 million reported in the first five months of 2023.

Fort Smith issued 214 permits in May with a value of $15.61 million, down 54% from the $34.212 million value of 190 permits issued in April and down 62% from the $41.522 million with 703 permits issued in May 2023. Year-to-date, Fort Smith has reported $91.271 million in building projects, down 61.69% from the $237.8 million reported through May of last year.

There were 17 permits issued for new residential construction in May with a combined value of $3.518 million, down 27.3% from the $4.838 million with 27 new residential permits in April and down 47.6% from the $6.711 million value of 29 new residential permits in May 2023.

There were three permits issued for new commercial construction in the month with a total value of $756,000, down 5.5% from the $800,000 value of one permit issued in April and down 94% from the $13.259 million value of three permits issued in May 2023.

Projects permitted included a $395,000 new activity center for River of Life Church at 6101 Kincaid Ave., a $200,000 Pavilion by Griffin Industries at 6501 Olivia St., and a $161,000 mini storage unit by RJ Prinja LLC at 5115 Towson Ave.

There was also a $739,505 other project permitted by Baldor Electric Co. at 5711 R.S. Boreham Drive for security gates and turnstiles and a $770,036 other project permitted by Mars Petcare at 10000 Roberts Blvd. for security fences and gates and electrical work.

VAN BUREN AND GREENWOOD
Van Buren, the region’s second largest city, had 82 projects permitted in May with a total value of $2.047 million, 42% more than the $1.444 million value of 94 permits issued in April and 61% more than the $1.274 million value of 118 permits issued in May of last year.

The city issued two permits for residential construction in the month with a total value of $228,000, down 82% from the $1.243 million value of 13 residential construction projects permitted in April and down 81% from the $1.223 value of residential construction projects issued in May 2023.

There were four permits issued for construction projects in May with a total value of $1.819 million, up considerably from the $181,000 value of six commercial projects issued in April and the $11,000 value of one commercial construction project issued in May 2023.

The city has had $6.209 million in permitted activity through May, down 51.1% from the $12.693 million permitted through May 2023.

Greenwood issued 19 permits with a value of $269,890 in May, down 88.4% from the $2.326 million with 24 permits issued in April and down 78.6% from the $1.261 million value of 14 permits issued in the first five months of 2023.

The Fort Smith metro ended 2023 with building permits totaling a record $520.644 million, 8.4% more than the $480.376 million in 2022. Building activity has continued to show gains in the past few years, with 2023’s total up 51.7% from 2021’s $343.289 million and 95.7% up from 2020’s $265.975 million.

REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY RECAP
Combined total for the three cities
2023: $520.644 million
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