In the News—Week of August 24, 2020
Around the Nation
Swimply app allows residents to rent out their pools by the hour
Things are going swimmingly this summer for Swimply, which bills itself as “airbnb for swimming pools,” KGO-TV reports. The Swimply app is in high demand as consumers leery of traveling during the pandemic are testing the waters for renting a pool. The average pool rents for $45 an hour, but costs vary depending on the size and other factors.
Energy & Environment
Denmark helps Vietnam come up with road map for reducing energy use
The Danish Energy Agency has worked with local governments in Vietnam to come up with plans for cutting energy use by 5% to 7% by 2025, VN Express reports. Danish officials are assisting 63 cities and provinces in a two-year collaboration. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for a nationwide 2% annual reduction in energy use. There are fears that the country will face energy shortages in the next two years.
Chevron will serve as anchor in Houston Innovation District
Chevron signed the first lease for the 300,000-square-foot The Ion in the South Main Innovation District in Houston, Connect Media reports. The Ion is the former Sears store that Rice University is developing and is set to open in spring 2021. “We’re thrilled to welcome Chevron into the Innovation District. They’ll be the first of many companies, local startups and business owners who make a home at and around The Ion as we continue to develop this groundbreaking, mixed-use space,” Rice Management Company’s Ryan LeVasseur says.
Apartments will boom in Dallas, other Texas metro areas, report says
Culture Map Dallas reports the Dallas-Fort Worth area will see more apartments completed before the end of 2020. Figures from Yardi Matrix show that the Dallas area is expected to complete almost 20,000 apartments for 2020, the third successive year the market has led the nation. That is a 29% drop for Dallas. New York is expected to finished second. Greater Houston is expected to finish third and Greater Austin is expected to finish fifth.
Hotels look to Congress for aid to keep doors open
The Arizona hotel industry is looking for help from Congress to service the COVID-19 epidemic, AZ Public Media reports. Hoteliers want to be able to tap into the billions set aside last spring to obtain loans up to 10% of property value. But Congressional in-fighting is holding up the availability of the loans. The Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association says that the industry in the state has lost $7 billion. “We here in Arizona know that this industry is really at the heart of our economy. And we have been absolutely decimated,” ALTA President Kim Sabow says.
Mexico has plans for projects alongside the Maya Train
Fonatur, Mexico’s national tourism board that oversees the Maya Train, is expected to award contracts for complementary infrastructure projects along the 1,000-kilometer line, BN Americas reports. Fonatur will oversee contracts for highways, viaducts and tunnels connected with $6.7-billion train project. Construction on the railroad, which will connect five southeastern states, has progressed despite the COVID-19 pandemic and resistance for local Indian tribes.