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Date set for Harbor Point TIF hearing

An Aug. 7 date has been set for a Baltimore City Council committee to resume a public hearing on a request for $107 million in tax-funded incentives for the proposed luxury Harbor Point development.

City Councilman Carl Stokes, head of the Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee, said Monday the hearing would resume at 5 p.m. in the City Council chambers after a three-week break during which Stokes said he has requested additional information on the project, its financial backers and other financial data from developer Michael Beatty, and the Baltimore Development Corp.

The hearing began on July 17 but, after about six hours, it was suspended at 11 p.m.

The July hearing was attended by hundreds of protesters and supporters of three bills that would establish a $107 million tax increment financing package, which Beatty has requested to help pay for infrastructure, parks and other development for the $1 billion project at the 27-acre site on the waterfront near Harbor East.

BDC officials claim that more than 3,300 new permanent jobs would be created at the Harbor Point site once it is completely built-out over a dozen years.

However, many of the protesters said the TIF deal would have a negative impact on the city’s existing and struggling communities while helping to build another posh development on the waterfront.

Beatty Development Group LLC has proposed to build a 23-story tower for Exelon, the Chicago-based energy giant, at the Harbor Point site as the first building there. The site formerly held the Allied Signal chemical plant, which was the subject of a $100 million cleanup of toxic chromium on the property following a September 1989 consent decree between Allied Signal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Maryland. Honeywell International bought Allied Signal in 1999, and assumed liability for the site.

Beatty is in negotiations to purchase the site from Honeywell for an undisclosed price this fall, a Honeywell spokeswoman has said.