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Port Covington TIF hearing to resume

Port Covington infrastructure map. (Sagamore Development)

Port Covington infrastructure map. (Sagamore Development)

A City Council committee will reconvene its hearing on a legislative package that would create $535 million in public financing for the proposed redevelopment of Port Covington.

The hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m., Wednesday at the War Memorial building, 101 N. Gay St. The Taxation, Finance and Economic Development committee started the hearing on Thursday of last week.

Sagamore Development Co., which is backed by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, is seeking tax increment financing to pay for infrastructure associated with a proposed $5.5 billion overhaul of roughly 260-acres of underutilized industrial land in south Baltimore.

The firm wants to build 13,500 residential units, 200 hotel rooms and 1.5 million square feet of office space during the next 25 years. Under Armour has also proposed constructing, independently, a 3.9-million-square-foot on the peninsula.

Tax increment financing involves the city issuing bonds to pay for the infrastructure that are then, hopefully, repaid with property tax increases from the associated development. The total bond issuance, which includes debt service reserve funds, cost of issuance and capitalized interest is capped at $660 million.

Opponents of the project have been critical of a variety of issues. Some argue it does not provide commensurate affordable housing in return for public financing, others have argued it places demands on city services without paying and activist groups have also criticized the cost of issuing the bonds.