Aug. 30--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 Committee, 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. Henry's bill would require that homes for sale be affordable to households earning 80 percent of area median income, or $65,700 for a family of four. Rental units would have to be affordable to households earning 60 percent of the median.
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 parks and amenities on affordable housing instead.
Sagamore has asked the city to float $660 million in bonds to build infrastructure for the project. It would be the largest such deal in Baltimore's history. Future taxes paid by the developer would go toward repaying the bonds.
The development could also receive $760 million in various tax credits.
The project is expected to create thousands of jobs and contribute $1.7 billion in taxes to the city over 40 years.
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