Friday, June 18, 2010

TOP STORY>>New school boosts Sherwood’s permits

Leader staff writer

A new $31 million middle school has jumped Sherwood’s permit values 900 percent over last year’s values.

Through May, Sherwood has issued 413 permits for a total value of $46.1 million compared to 235 permits for the first five months of 2009 worth just $5.6 million.

Ward and Austin are also seeing a good year so far. Jacksonville is treading water, falling slightly from last year’s figures and Cabot is down.

Asked this week about the state of the building industry in Cabot, public works Director Jerrel Maxwell had just one word to describe it – bad.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff on the drawing board, but nothing ready for permits,” Maxwell said.

Single-home permits are ahead of last year’s figures at this time, but commercial permits are down.

The assisted-living facility and nursing home that is supposed to be built across from Northside Elementary shouldbe ready for construction now that the plans for the storm-water retention pond are completed, Maxwell said.

The school district is getting ready to start a building for the ninth grade. And his office has the paperwork for a duplex and triplex on Cardinal Lane.

A dentist office and a dermatologist office are under construction, he said.

“But the housing industry is just about gone like everywhere else,” Maxwell said.

Karen Knebel, who keeps up with building permits at Cabot Public Works, said May wasn’t too bad with nine permits for new homes valued at $1,196,480 and three permits for finishing the inside of commercial buildings to the tenants’ specifications valued at $95,100.

But only three residential permits valued at $241,525, one of them a remodel, have been issued for June and the month is more than half-way through. For the year, 37 residential permits have been sold in Cabot.

Through May, Cabot has issued 37 single-family home permits with a total of $4.3 million. Through May of 2009, the city had also issued 37 permits worth $3.5 million. On the commercial side, the city has issued 13 permits for a total value of $4.7 million, compared to seven permits worth $6.6 million for the same time period in 2009.

Besides the single building permit issued in May valued at $31 million, Sherwood also issued five single-family home permits valued at a total of $1.13 million. The total value of the May permits was $32.9 million, compared to $2.13 million for May 2009.

In comparison to Cabot, Ward and Austin, which are both in the Cabot School District, are booming.

Records kept at Austin City Hall show no commercial permits this year, but 50 permits so far for residences. For May, five permits for houses valued at $800,000 were sold. So far in June, eight residential permits have been sold in Austin.

Records from Ward City Hall show 11 permits for houses valued at $793,500 were sold in May. No commercial permits were sold.

Jacksonville issued 23 building permits in May, valued at $946,000, down from the $1.18 million in May 2009. For the year, Jacksonville has issued $6.55 million in permits compared to $6.81 million issued for the same time period last year.

In Beebe, a total of five permits were sold in May. The largest was for Calvary Pentecostal Church, which is going up on the first big curve on Highway 64 at the very edge of the area annexed about three years ago. The church is valued at $300,000. The value of the four houses is $215,000.