Positive Vibe Permeates NWA Real Estate Market

by Paul Gatling  on Monday, Jun. 25, 2012 12:00 am  

According to the latest Skyline Report, $37.1 million in commercial building permits were issued in northwest Arkansas from June to November last year.

That total was down 18.1 percent from $45.3 million spent in the previous six months, from December 2010 to May 2011.

"In general, with office and speculative development, there is very little new construction," Ball said, noting the exceptions of activity in the student housing sector and the numerous projects taking place on the University of Arkansas campus. "Each of those student housing projects is about $30-to-$35 million, with the land costs and everything. And you've got four of those going right now, so that's $140 million worth of new construction."

Boskus, though, said the amount of medical office, retail, new restaurant and new professional space projects his firm is involved with has increased "probably 75 percent" in the past two years.

"There are real projects happening, and that is exciting," Boskus said.

Though guarded about most CRE projects in the firm's pipeline, Boskus did reveal that The Egg & I, a breakfast food restaurant chain based in Fort Collins, Colo., will open its second Arkansas location in a new retail center being planned near Pleasant Grove Road in Rogers.

Boskus said construction of the 18,000-SF building, which will house other tenants that are yet to be named, should start later this summer.

"That's probably as specific as I can be," Boskus said. "There's some other stuff that is on the verge of becoming public information."

Office Space

Researchers from the University of Arkansas' Center for Business & Economic Research produce the Skyline Report, an analysis of the residential, commercial and multifamily markets in Benton and Washington counties.

Portions of the report are made available every six months for the commercial and multifamily survey.

The latest report, released in April and covering June to November 2011, showed the vacancy rate for office space remained at 19.5 percent from the previous six months.



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