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The Fort Smith metropolitan area has seen continued growth in recent years, but no year has performed as well in terms of construction activity as in 2021 with permit values ​​exceeding $ 340 million. The gain was driven largely by a gain of over 25% at Fort Smith.

Some of the gain in value from licensed activities during the year can be attributed to a higher construction cost than in previous years due to the higher cost of supplies during the COVID 19 pandemic, but the three largest cities of the Fort Smith Metro ended the year with a value of authorized construction activity 29% higher than last year. Fort Smith, Van Buren and Greenwood recorded $ 343.289 million in authorized construction activity throughout the year, a 29% increase from $ 265.975 million in 2020, a 42% increase from to $ 241.741 million in 2019 and a 48% increase from $ 231.78 million in construction activity in 2018.

The three largest cities in the Fort Smith area saw an increase in the number of buildings starting in 2020, and construction activity in December definitely gave those numbers a boost. The region recorded $ 35.09 million in authorized activity in December, an 84% increase from the $ 19.06 million in authorized activity in December 2020. The month was 127% higher than the previous month. combined value of $ 15.46 million building permits issued by Fort Smith, Van Buren. and Greenwood in November.

For the year, Fort Smith increased 25.7% from the previous year to $ 294.279 million from $ 234.165 million in 2020. Fort Smith issued 157 permits in December valued at 29 , $ 92 million, up 130% from the $ 12.998 million value of 155 permits. issued in November and up 71.3% from the $ 17.47 million value of the 167 permits issued in December 2020.

In the month, 18 permits were issued for new residential construction with a combined value of $ 3.155 million, down 15.4% from the combined value of $ 3.72 million of 21 new permits residential construction in November and 22% compared to December 2020.

But the business side has seen significant growth. The city issued seven new commercial building permits in December worth $ 15.75 million, about three times more than the three new commercial projects authorized in November with a combined value of $ 5.218 million and more eight times the value of $ 1.868 million of two new commercial projects. projects cleared in December 2020. New commercial construction projects in December included an $ 8.237 million Mars Pet Care project. In January 2021, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and officials from Mars Petcare were in Fort Smith and announced a $ 145 million expansion of the company’s plant in Chaffee Crossing, which will create more than 120 jobs.

Commercial projects also included the City of Fort Smith New Pumping Station Replacement Project, which includes a $ 3.86 million pumping project at 5201 Riverfront Drive and a $ 2.819 million project at 2901 98th. Circle.

“Things seem to be improving with all the new residential developments (in Fort Smith) and the number of new residential / duplexes as well as the amount of construction going on at several industrial sites. 2022 looks like it could be another great year, but we’ll just have to see, ”said Jimmie Deer, Director of Building Services for the City of Fort Smith.

VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD PROJECTS
Van Buren, the region’s second-largest city, issued 63 permits in December worth $ 4.696 million, a 103 percent increase from the $ 2.31 million value of 82 permits issued in November and 215% from the $ 1.491 million value of 66 permits issued in December 2020. Monthly activity included six residential building permits valued at $ 650,000, down 58.5% from compared to $ 1.565 million in residential construction in November and down 49% from $ 1.29 million in residential construction in December 2020.

Five commercial building permits were issued in December with a combined value of $ 3.9 million, a huge jump from the $ 160,000 commercial construction in November and the $ 90,000 commercial construction in December 2020.

Among these commercial construction projects was the $ 1.876 million Phase 2 project to renovate the Blakemore lot at Van Buren High School at 2202 Blvd. Alma, by Beshears Construction, which includes the demolition of the old Izzard Primary School, the visitor and football team changing rooms and the finishing of the parking lot, said David Martin, of Van Buren’s planning department. Phase 1 of the $ 2.34 million project was authorized in February and included a new structure for selling tickets and merchandise as well as a concession structure for visitors. A new $ 1.124 million Casey’s general store at 2815 Alma Highway was also cleared during the month.

Van Buren ended the year with $ 38.56 million in authorized activity, up 77.4% from the total of $ 21.74 million in 2020.

Greenwood issued eight permits in December valued at $ 477,841, up 216% from the $ 150,997 value of 15 permits issued in November and 377% from the $ 100,250 value of 18 permits issued in December 2020. The city ended the year with $ 10.45 million in building activity permits, up 3.8% from the $ 10.07 million value of construction projects authorized in 2020.

SUMMARY OF REGIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Combined total for the three cities
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
2011: $ 201.079 million