Stokes postpones work session on tax deal for Port Covington site
City Councilman Carl Stokes, who chairs the committee vetting a tax deal for the Port Covington development, postponed a Monday work session on the project.
The next public work session will be Thursday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m. at the War Memorial Building in downtown Baltimore.
Stokes said the postponement was needed “due to the continuing work on additional language for amendments to the legislation and the ongoing discussions between entities and organizations involved in crafting an agreement,” according to a statement from his office.
He heads the City Council’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Com- mittee, which is considering amendments to a $660 million tax increment financing deal, which would pay for the development’s infrastructure.
The amendments are about the amount of affordable housing to be built at the site and how much workers will be paid.
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Development Co. has set a goal of making 10 percent of Port Covington housing units “affordable.” Some council members and advocates want the deal to require more. Stokes is proposing that 20 percent of the proposed 7,500 residences be set side for low-income residents. Advocates are asking for 25 percent.
Meanwhile, Councilman Bill Henry wants to pass a citywide law requiring that all city-subsidized developments include 10 percent affordable housing.
Stokes said there is a “strong possibility” that the committee will be ready to vote on amendments to the Port Covington deal next week. If the legislation were approved in committee next week, the full City Council could vote on the Port Covington deal next month.
“The communities and Sagamore seem to really be making progress,” Stokes said.
Sagamore has proposed a $5.5 billion waterfront development that would include a new headquarters for Under Armour, restaurants, shops, housing and manufacturing space, among other features. Advocacy groups including Baltimoreans United for Leadership Development, or BUILD, have called on the developer to spend some of the $140 million proposed for amenities on affordable housing instead.