Construction List Tallies 121 Contracts Valued at $1.7 Billion

Largest Commercial Projects
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The largest commercial projects list surpassed $1.7 billion, marking the fourth consecutive year for a 10-digit total. This year's roster of contracts worth $5 million or more contains 121 projects, compared with 100 in 2005.

Last year's jobs totaled more than $1.2 billion.

Little Rock once again was home to the largest number of projects with 20, followed by Rogers with 18; Fayetteville, 12; Bentonville, 11; North Little Rock, six; and Conway, five. Those six cities accounted for nearly 60 percent of this year's projects.

Benton County had the largest census of major projects at 36. Pulaski County at 27 and Washington County at 16 rounded out the top three counties. This trio tallied about 65 percent of this year's list.

A year ago, Pulaski County and Benton County each accounted for 23 projects at the top of the list.

In all, 48 different contractors are represented in the list. Of those firms, 32 are based in Arkansas.

Nabholz Construction Corp. of Conway posted 16 projects in this year's list, the most of any company. The combined value of those jobs tops $250 million.

Crossland Construction Co. of Columbus, Kan., was next with 12 projects valued at more than $190 million, followed by May Construction Co. of Little Rock with 10 valued at more than $105 million.

Two Little Rock firms each had seven projects on the list: Baldwin & Shell Construction Co. and CDI Contractors. CDI's jobs are valued at $225 million, and Baldwin & Shell's contracts are valued at more than $92 million.

Arkansas-based general contractors are associated with 82 (about two-thirds) of this year's projects.

Education-related construction again dominated the list with 37 projects. These jobs were split 21/16 between K-12 projects at public schools and colleges/universities.

The two biggest ongoing higher ed projects are the $29 million Student Union addition and renovation at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro by Building Construction Co. of Kansas City, Mo., and the $25 million Center for Academic Excellence at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville by CDI Contractors.

The two largest among secondary school work are the $24.3 million Van Buren School addition/renovation and the $20 million Bentonville High School Phase 2, both by Crossland Construction.

The renovation of Little Rock's historic Capital Hotel is omitted from the list because a final dollar value has yet to be tallied, although work is in motion. East-Harding Inc. of Little Rock is the contractor on this job.

As it was in 2005, two of the five top projects this year are new entries. The $89 million St. Mary's Mercy Health of Northwest Arkansas project in Rogers enters as the new No. 1. The Kansas City office of J.E. Dunn Construction Group is overseeing this project.

Another new one is the $42 million Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers. The contract, handled by Little Rock's Vratsinas Construction Co., represents about 80 percent of the 980,000-SF lifestyle center's retail/office space.

Two other pieces of the development are covered under separate contracts. CDI Contractors is the general contractor for the $15 million Dillard's store, EMJ Corp. of Chattanooga, Tenn., is building the J.C. Penney store in a $5.1 million job.

Holdovers from 2005 are the $50 million Tyson Foods Discovery Center in Springdale at No. 2; the $49 million Richard Sheppard Arnold United States Courthouse in Little Rock; and the $32 million Mount Magazine Lodge in Logan County.

This year's top 5 weighed in at $262 million, surpassing last year's $203 million but still shy of 2004's $286 million.

Two of the larger categories of construction were retail, 18; and apartments, 11.

Among the larger retail jobs are the $30 million Turtle Creek Mall in Jonesboro by Hoar Construction Co. of Birmingham, Ala., and the $22 million Alcoa Exchange Shopping Center in Bryant by MDH Builders Inc. of Little Rock.

The biggest apartment projects included a pair of $20 million efforts: Pleasant Grove Apartments project in Rogers, built by Fayetteville's Lindsey Co.; and The Glen at Polo Park in Bentonville by Texas BBL Ltd.

Irving-based Texas BBL is a division of Barry, Bette & Led Duke Inc. of Albany, N.Y. May Construction is building the $19.5 million Foothills Apartment project in North Little Rock.