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February building permit values up more than 12% in the Fort Smith area

February building permits came in at a combined $7.405 million for the cities of Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren. The total is an increase of 12.04% over the same period last year, which saw only $6.609 million in permits across the region's three largest cities. The total is also an increase of 8.96% from February 2011's total of $6.796 million.

For 2014 so far, the three cities have a combined building permit valuation of $16.874 million. Fort Smith had the largest share of the pot with $10.593 million in permits, while Van Buren had permit totals of $5.633 million. Greenwood is lagging farthest behind with a mere $647,445. The total is down 13.44% compared to the first two months of 2013, which saw $19.495 million in building permits across the three cities.

FORT SMITH
The city of Fort Smith issued a total of 124 permits in February. With a total value of $5.962 million, the city saw an increase of 11.92% over February 2013's total of $5.327 million on 146 permits.

The Fort Smith figures were most heavily weighted in residential construction, which saw 83 permits issue with a total value of $3.613 million. While that is 10 less residential permits than the 93 issued in February 2013, the total is 59.95% higher than last year's figure of $2.259 million.

The city also saw the issuance of 27 commercial building permits worth $2.153 million. Included in the commercial permits was a permit valued at $700,000 for a new I Am Well Clinic to be built at 7215 Cameron Park Drive.

GREENWOOD
Building permits issued in the city of Greenwood during February were consistent with last February's figures, coming in at $464,485, a 1.23% increase from February 2013's total of $458.825.

Of the permits issued in the city, one was for a new home valued at $364,410. Another permit, valued at $93,980, was issued for a new swimming pool while a storm shelter valued at $6,095 was permitted, as well.

VAN BUREN
Thirty-three permits were issued by the city of Van Buren in February with a total value of $978,376. The figure is an increase of 18.74% from the same month last year, when permits totaled only $824,000. But the value is a decrease of 78.98% from January. That month saw permits totaling $4.655 million, including a $4 million expansion of the Legacy Heights Retirement Center. Legacy Heights is expanding its alzheimer's unit.

Permits issued in February were largely centered in residential construction, where six permits totaling $863,100 were permitted. Another construction permit totaling $88,000 was also issued, as were eight sign permits totaling $27,276.

2013 RECAP
Combined values in the three cities during 2013 were $203.037 million, compared to $157.32 million during 2012. The 2013 value is above the $201.079 million in 2011.

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Fort Smith closed 2013 with the largest share of valuations, logging $177.687 million (a one-year increase of about 30.24% from $136.428 million in 2012), while Van Buren was the next largest with $17.067 million (a one-year increase of 38.96% from $12.282 million in 2012). Greenwood posted an additional $8.283 million, the only city to show a decrease from the previous year's total of $8.609 million (a decrease of 3.79%).

The gains in the Fort Smith market were largely from industrial construction projects at Chaffee Crossing, the construction of Mercy's new orthopedic hospital along Phoenix Avenue and various municipal construction projects across the city.

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