Stokes post­pones work ses­sion on tax deal for Port Cov­ing­ton site

Baltimore Sun - - AROUND THE REGION - By Luke Broad­wa­ter lbroad­wa­ter@balt­ twit­ luke­broad­wa­ter

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.

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