The value of Fort Smith building permits issued in April were down more than 8% despite $1.6 million in permits issued for ongoing renovation at the former Phoenix Village Mall.
FSM Redevelopment Partners was issued a permit for $500,000 and Beshears Construction was issued a permit for $1.1 million for work on the Phoenix Expo Center and other work on the facility that was once the Phoenix Village Mall.
In January 2009, FSM Redevelopment Partners LLC purchased the 35-acre former Phoenix Village Mall — bounded by Phoenix Avenue on the south, Towson Avenue on the east and Wheeler Avenue on the west. The once poorly-maintained site contained more than 10 acres of structures and was the first enclosed mall constructed in Arkansas. Officials with FSM Redevelopment said in late March they are pushing a $1 million Phase II project with the Phoenix Expo they say will create a “first class” banquet and exhibition facility and could potentially help lure a new 100-plus room hotel.
The city issued 280 permits with a total value of $10.570 million in April, down 8.7% from the $11.58 million in April 2009. For the first four months of 2010, building permit values in Fort Smith total $36.598 million, down 29.3% from the $51.777 million during the same period of 2009. A big reason for the comparative decline is a March 2009 permit valued at $12 million for an expansion at Gerber Foods’ Fort Smith plant.
Fortunately, new home construction in Fort Smith continues to fare well, with the city issuing permits in the sector totaling $4.51 million in April, up from the $4.49 million value in April 2009. The city issued in March new home permits valued at $5.976 million, compared to permits valued at $2.02 million in March 2009.
Greenwood also is seeing strength in its new home construction sector. The city issued permits valued at $2.403 million in April, up 70% from the $1.413 million in April 2009. The value of all permits the city issued in April was $2.671 million, up almost 38% compared to the $1.936 million in April 2009.
Van Buren saw a big boost in its April 2010 permit report thanks to a $13.587 million permit issued to Nabholz Construction for King Elementary School. For the month, the city issued permits valued at $13.965 million, compared to $1.501 million in April 2009.
New home construction in Van Buren continues to show mixed results, with permits valued at $255,000 issued in April, down 47% from the $485,400 in April 2009. March brought 23 residential construction permits for Van Buren valued at $876,000, up 74% in value over the 40 permits valued at $503,000 in March 2009.