Fort Smith Metro started 2022 on a strong footing at the start of the new year and maintained that momentum through the first month of the year. The three largest metro cities had $30.554 million in building permits in January, up 12% from $27.249 million in January 2021.
January permit values were down 12.9% from the $35.09 million reported in December.
Fort Smith issued 155 permits in January worth $28.509 million. While this is down 4.7% from the $29.92 million value of the 157 permits issued in December, it was up 10.76% from the $25.74 million value. of the 134 permits issued in January 2021.
There were 25 permits issued for new residential construction during the month with a combined value of $4.86 million, up 54.04% from the combined value of $3.155 million of 18 new residential building permits issued in December and by 81% compared to the $2.68 million value of the 11 new residential building permits issued in January 2021.
The commercial side of the construction also got off to a good start. Although the $10.561 million value of seven new commercial construction projects started in January was down 32% from the $15.75 value of seven new commercial construction projects started in December, it was nine times greater than the $1.15 million worth of two new commercial building permits issued in January 2021.
January’s new commercial construction projects included a $5.773 million project by Mars Pet Care at 1000 Roberts Blvd., which combines with the $8.237 million project launched in December. In January 2021, Governor Asa Hutchinson and Mars Petcare officials were in Fort Smith and announced a $145 million expansion of the company’s plant in Chaffee Crossing that will create more than 120 jobs.
Commercial projects also included a $1.344 million permit for Harry G. Barr at 6500 Zero Street. In July, Fort Smith-based Harry G. Barr & Co. announced a $10 million expansion of its office and manufacturing space, which is expected to create 100 additional jobs for the window and door maker.
A $1.218 million permit was also issued to Michael Prewitt for a veterinary clinic at 4501 Massard Road.
VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD PROJECTS
Van Buren, the region’s second-largest city, issued 64 permits in January worth $1.86 million, down 60.4% from the $4.696 million value of 63 permits issued in December, but a significant increase from the $370,000 value of the 33 permits issued in January 2021.
Monthly activity included nine residential permits worth $1.655 million and no commercial permits. For comparison, in January 2021, Van Buren issued residential permits worth $310,000 and commercial permits worth $40,000. In December, the city issued six residential permits worth a combined $650,000 and five commercial permits worth $3.9 million.
Greenwood was the only major town in the area with licensed activity down from the same time last year. The city issued 12 permits in January worth $185,043, down 61.3% from the $477,841 value of eight permits issued in December and 83.8% from the value $1.139 million from 22 permits issued in January 2021.
The region 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 in recent years, but no recent year has performed as well in terms of construction activity as 2021, with the three largest cities in the region seeing 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