Building permit values in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren, combined to total $10.954 million in August, up slightly from the $9.054 million July total, but way down compared to August 2011, when tri-city permit values tallied $26.533 million.
The month-to-month decline of 58.72% worsens year-to-date comparisons through the first eight months of the year to a 43.66% decline, down further from 40.5% through July 2012. Values through August 2012 are at $86.819 million for the three cities, compared to $154.099 million during the same period of 2011.
During the first eight months, Fort Smith claimed the largest share with $70.405 million (a one-year decline from $140.128 million of about 49.76%), while Van Buren was the next largest with $10.949 million (a one-year increase from $8.679 million of approximately 20.73%). Greenwood posted an additional $5.463 million, which was up slightly from last year's $5.292 million (about 3.13%).
The city of Fort Smith logged 203 permits in August totaling $10.108 million, up from 186 permits totaling $6.996 million in July, but still down considerably for the year.
For the month, new home construction accounted for $3.213 million on 15 permits, while additions, alterations, repairs, and demolition, comprised $1.227 million on 126 permits. The commercial building sector added another $5.4 million in valuations, though just $366,000 was for new construction.
The remainder went to additions, alterations, and repairs, including a $1.7 million addition at 5711 R.S. Boreham Jr. St., the site of Baldor Electric Company; a $1.5 million alteration at 4301 Harriet Lane, the site of Gerber Federal Credit Union; and a $795,000 alteration at 115 N. 12th St., the site of Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp (AOG).
Compared to August 2011, Fort Smith’s valuation has decreased approximately 57% from last year’s $23.533 million total.
New home construction dominated Greenwood’s August numbers, as it has throughout the first eight months of 2012, with three permits totaling $588,920 accounting for most of the $634,920 overall valuation (on six total permits). This number is a decrease from August 2011’s $806,215 total.
While Van Buren is still up for the year, an underperforming August put a large dent in the city’s progress. Valuations and permits plummeted last month to $210,900 on 31 permits, down from $1.299 million on 36 permits in July and $2.194 million in August 2011.
Most of the valuation came from one commercial project for new construction at 1902 Fayetteville Road, the site of Simmons First National Bank, totaling $127,500.
Of the $154.099 million totaled through August 2011, Fort Smith logged the most with $140.128 million, thanks in large part to the Mitsubishi plant at Chaffee Crossing, which has since been mothballed by the company. That one permit, issued in January 2011, totaled $28.5 million.
Van Buren was at second place through August 2011 with $8.679 million in valuations, beating out Greenwood, which posted just $5.292 million through the same period.
Mitsubishi continues to be a bane on building permit numbers for the year, causing a year-to-date decline of more than 43%, but even without that permit, the Fort Smith metro area continues to underperform. If Mitsubishi had never happened, 2012 numbers would show a decrease of 30.88% through the first eight months, which trends down further from year-to-date comparisons in July that showed a decline of just 23.42%.