Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren had a combined total of $32.871 million in building permits in March, up 65.4% from the $19.879 million issued by cities in March 2021. The value is down 63.8% from $90.808 million in February, but above $30.554 million in January.
At $136.894 million, year-to-date construction activity is more than double the first-quarter 2021 values of $64.29 million.
Fort Smith issued 195 permits in March worth $24.87 million, down 32.6% from the $36.873 million value of the 134 permits issued in February, but up 45 .8% from $17.06 million from 205 permits issued in March 2021. During the first quarter of 2022, Fort Smith issued $90.252 million in building permits, up 70% from 53 $.09 million in building permits issued in the first three months of 2021.
During the month, 19 permits were issued for new residential construction worth $2.962 million, down 21.8% from the $3.785 million value of the 22 permits issued in February and down 15.4% from the combined $3.5 million value of the 16 new residential building permits issued. in March 2021.
There were five new commercial building permits in March worth $16.53 million, a 474% increase from the $2.86 million value of 4 new commercial projects in March 2021. There was only one new commercial construction project authorized in February with a value listed at $175,000. However, Mercy Fort Smith received a $13.25 million permit for an addition at 7301 Rogers Avenue last month to begin construction on a $162.5 million Mercy Hospital expansion. which will focus on a new emergency room and intensive care unit (ICU) areas and parking lot. Mercy received a permit for a $3.465 million new construction project tied to this expansion in March.
Other new commercial construction projects authorized in March include two $2.2 million convenience store projects in the Fianna Hills area. Two new Circle K convenience stores have been authorized at 9811 State Highway 253 and 4101 Brooken Hill Drive. A permit was also issued for a $3.57 million First Western Bank project at 3914 Massard Drive and $5 million was authorized for the construction of a new RV park at 1701 Riverfront Drive.
The park permit indicated that the work was for backfilling and grading. Richard Griffin of Griffin Properties announced plans for the RV park early last year. The 27-acre park will be located just south of 330 acres the city purchased from the Kansas City Southern Railroad Company for soft-surface trails. Initial plans include 107 paved RV parking spaces, 12 tent sites, a swimming pool, restrooms and a playground. It will have a park-like setting and will also include a management residence which will include an apartment, offices and commercial space.
VAN BUREN, GREENWOOD PROJECTS
Van Buren, the region’s second-largest city, issued 87 permits in March worth $6.774 million, down 80.7% from the $35.014 million value of the 43 permits issued in March, but a 222.6% increase from the $2.1 million value of the 83 permits. published in March 2021.
Monthly activity included five residential permits worth $395,000, down 37.89% from the $636,000 value of four residential projects authorized in February and down 73.3% from to the combined value of $1.48 million of residential projects authorized in March 2021.
On the commercial side, there were five projects with a combined value of $6.325 million. Although this is a decrease of 81.58% from the $34.337 million value of three commercial projects last month, it is a significant increase from the value of 517 $1.945 million from commercial projects authorized in March 2021. Two projects are included in the Van Buren School District, amounting to $1.945 million. new sports hall at Northridge Middle School, 120 Northridge Drive, and a $3.36 million indoor softball and group facility at Van Buren High School, 2001 Pointer Trail. Both projects are with Beshears Construction Inc. A new Dollar General of $850,000 has also been licensed at 617 Parkview St. by Van Tassle-Proctor Construction of Little Rock.
Year-to-date, Van Buren had $43.644 million in authorized construction activity, a 377.5% increase from $9.14 million in the first quarter of 2021.
Greenwood also had a good month, issuing 15 permits with a combined value of $1.527 million, an 18.7% increase from the 11 permits issued in February and an 89% increase from the value of 807 $976 from the 17 permits issued in March 2021. January through March saw a total authorized valuation of $2.998 million in Greenwood, a 44.9% increase from the $2.069 in building permits issued in the first three month of last year.
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