June 8: “Resilient Tunnel Plug” | 40th Street Trolley Portal update | Coworking at the Hale Building

Dover-based engineering firm ILC Dover demonstrated for the press its “tunnel plug” designed to minimize flooding in subway systems, NewsWorks’ Alyssa Wesley reports. The firm, which specializes in aerospace soft goods such as materials for astronaut suits, spent a decade on its “Resilient Tunnel Plug Project” in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and West Virginia University. The plug, made of three layers of woven high-strength textiles, is able to withstand floodwater pressure when inflated with compressed air.

University City District has officially secured all of the permits needed to begin construction on the 40th Street Trolley Portal Gardens, Melissa Romero reports. UCD announced on their website yesterday that the project has finished “securing financing for the forthcoming Trolley Car Station, obtaining building permits, and completing construction plans.” The 40th Street Trolley Station will remain open to pedestrians during the 10-month construction project.

The Delaware General Assembly’s Natural Resources committee voted Wednesday to release a bill that would amend the Coastal Zone Act to allow the repurposing of abandoned or contaminated industrial sites, WHYY’s Zoë Read reports. The legislation, which aims to make Delaware more business-friendly, would create a permitting process for the redevelopment of 14 industrial sites. Supporters of the bill say the current CZA, which only allows an abandoned site to be repurposed for its previous use, is too restricting on businesses and prevents new businesses from locating to Delaware. Opponents of the bill say their biggest concern is the risk of spills from bulk product transfer along the river and that “there hasn’t been enough public input on the legislation, which has been in the works for three years.”

‘Coworking concept’ Spaces has signed a 37,735-square-foot lease at the historic Hale Building at Chestnut and Juniper Streets, Jacob Adelman writes. A CBRE spokesman said in an interview Wednesday that the coworking brand, which operates under European shared-office corporation International Workplace Group, “will occupy floors three through eight of the eight-story building” and “have exclusive access to the Hale Building’s roof deck.”

Leading economists have started warning about the overdevelopment of multifamily housing in major cities including New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, Jon Hurdle writes for the New York Times. While commercial property prices across the country have largely stalled since late 2016, developers continue to build. Philadelphia-based PMC Property Group’s Ron Caplan, says that development is “exploding” and that “the buildings continue to fill up,” attributing the surging demand to the livability of downtown areas and increasingly appeal to new residents who are “educated, professional and often wealthy.” 

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