Council CEO: Northwest Arkansas Positioned to Pave Path to Recovery

by Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Staff  on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 2:48 pm  

“They’ve gone up in office space and retail space, and those vacancies are being filled,” she said. “There’s finally going to be a need for new construction.”

Bill McClard, senior vice president and executive broker with Lindsey & Associates in Rogers, says the tightening of supply isn’t necessarily a sign that contractors will be overrun with new work any time soon.

“But I think we are to a point where there are going to be some [building] increases in all sectors if things hold for another six months,” he said.

Clinton Bennett, managing broker of CBRE|Northwest Arkansas in Fayetteville, said improving national trends, coupled with the area’s economic recovery, will favor investors.

“[Investors] consider so many factors when looking at the market, but the fact that we have low unemployment and continued job growth is important,” he said. “There’s going to be interest from regional and local investors who want to own real estate in this market.”

T.J. Lefler, a partner at Sage Partners in Fayetteville, also noted the growing migration of office users to Northwest Arkansas, and not just because of the “Big Three” of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.

“Fayetteville, and everybody really, is doing a good job of attracting green companies and international companies, in particular,” he said. “And new companies drive office space and drive a good real estate market.”



Kathy Deck, director of the University of Arkansas’ Center for Business and Economic Research, echoed Malone’s sentiments regarding the correlation between job growth and the 2013 construction outlook. She expects the job growth experienced in 2012 to continue into next year.

“The trend line there looks pretty good,” Deck said. “All of our major companies are in good shape, generally speaking, and that’s a good sign.”

The best news appears to be in the single-family construction segment, where Deck predicts “high single-digit increases” in both Benton and Washington county permits, though “a little bit more in Benton than in Washington.”



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