Construction activity in Fort Smith declined in April and is down more than 9% year-to-date, but construction in the Fort Smith metro area is nearly 20% higher than it was. was in the first four months of 2021.
Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren had a combined value of $22.019 million in building permits in April, down 67.96% from the $68.727 million issued by cities in April 2021.
The biggest drop in construction came from Fort Smith with Greenwood and Van Buren showing an increase over last year. The region’s year-to-date total is $158.913 million, a 19.5% increase from the combined value of $133.026 million in permits issued in the metro’s largest cities. from January to April 2021.
Fort Smith issued 213 permits in April worth $14.749 million, down 40.7% from the $24.87 million value of 195 permits issued in March and down 76.4 % from $62.47 million of 176 permits issued in April 2021. In the first four months of the year, Fort Smith issued $105.001 million in building permits, down 9.14% compared to the $115.56 million issued through April 2021.
During the month, 14 permits were issued for new residential construction worth $3.068 million, up 3.58% from the $2.962 million value of 19 new residential construction permits issued in March and up 22% from the $2.514 million worth of nine new residential building permits. permits issued in April 2021.
There were two new commercial building permits in April worth $4 million, down 75.8% from the $16.53 million value of five new commercial projects in March and one down 46.8% from the $7.52 million worth of three new commercial projects in April 2021. New commercial construction last month included a new $2 million convenience store, Jiffy Trip, at 8205 S Zero St., and a new $2 million car wash at 6417 Rogers Ave.
VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD WINS
The construction scene was brighter outside of Fort Smith. Van Buren, the region’s second-largest city, issued 78 permits in April worth $5.38 million. Although this is a decrease of 20.6% from the $6.774 million value of the 87 permits issued in March, it is an increase of 8.2% from the value of $4.974 million from 63 building permits issued in April of last year and continued Van Buren’s upward trend in 2022.
The gain this month was attributable to activity in residential construction. Monthly activity included $4.074 million in residential permits, more than 10 times more than the $395,000 value of residential permits issued in March and 82.7% more than the $2.23 million value of residential construction projects in April 2021.
On the commercial side, there was $1.157 million in authorized activity, a decrease of 81.7% from the $6.325 million value of commercial construction projects last month and 56.2% less than the $2.64 million worth of commercial construction projects in April 2021. Year-to-date, Van Buren had $49.024 million in authorized activity, a 247% increase from the $14.114 million in dollars reported in the first four months of 2021.
Greenwood again experienced a month of growth. The city issued 14 permits with a combined value of $1.89 million in April, a 23.7% increase from the $1.527 million value of the 15 permits issued in March and an increase of 47 .3% from the $1.28 million value of the 20 permits issued in April 2021. A large portion of the building’s April valuation came from a welding, fabrication and machining shop $950,000 being built by Mike McAlister at 2323 Industrial Drive.
Greenwood has total permit values so far in 2022 of $4.888 million, up 45% from the $3.352 million in building permits issued from January to April 2021.
The Fort Smith area ended 2021 with $343.289 million in authorized construction activity, a 29% increase from $265.975 million in 2020. Fort Smith Metro has seen continued growth over the past years, but no recent year has been as strong in terms of construction activity. in 2021, with the three largest cities in the region registering an increase in the number of buildings from 2020.
SUMMARY OF REGIONAL CONSTRUCTION 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