Building permits up almost 10% year-to-date in Fort Smith area

Building permits in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren were a combined $18.149 million in August, up 2.71% from August 2013's total of $17.7 million.

Even though combined values are up over the same month last year, from July to August of this year, permits fell 13.47% from $20.975 million last month.

For the first eight months of the year, combined permits are at $136.108 million, an increase of 9.77% over the same period in 2013 when only $123.994 million in permits were issued across the three cities.

FORT SMITH
The city of Fort Smith had a total of 210 permits issued with a value of $17.701 million.

Of the permits issued, $11.333 million were commercial permits, including a $4.7 million addition to Morrison Elementary at 3415 Newlon Road. The addition to Morrison accounted for 26.55% of all building permits issued in the city last month.

In residential construction, 123 permits were issued at a total of $4.267 million.

Of the residential permits issued, 12 permits with a combined total of $3.313 million were issued for new construction. The new construction permits accounted for 77.66% of all residential construction permits issued during the month of August.

Comparing August 2014 to the same period last year, permits are up in the city are up 5.66% from $16.754 million in August 2013 to this year's $17.701 million total.

GREENWOOD
The city of Greenwood issued one building permit last month for a total of $123,080 for a new home.

The total is a 24.32% drop from August 2013, when three permits totaling $162,631 were issued in Sebastian County's second largest city.

VAN BUREN
Van Buren saw a total 38 permits with a combined value of $324,000 issued last month.

The total is a 57% drop from $753,500 in permits issued during the same month last year.

Compared to July, the city also saw a drop of 42.05% from $559,100 to this month's total of $324,000.

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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.

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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