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Port Covington public hearings nearing a climax


Port Covington in Baltimore. (File)

The Baltimore City Council committee reviewing legislation to grant Sagamore Development Co. public financing to overhaul Port Covington will hold its final work session Monday.

Councilman Carl Stokes, chairman of the Taxation, Finance and Economic Development, said Tuesday evening the panel’s upcoming session will probably include votes on amendments to a measure granting $660 million in tax increment bonds that would pay for infrastructure improvements for the proposed redevelopment.

Stokes also said he expects a community benefits agreement proposal, which would outline what the developer will deliver to communities in exchange for financing, on his desk in the next week or two.

If it makes it through the committee, the measure then would have to be approved by the overall council and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who is a staunch supporter of the project.

Sagamore is seeking $535 million in tax increment funding, roughly $660 million after associated expenses, to build infrastructure needed to develop Port Covington.

The company, which is backed by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, wants to build 14,500 residential unit, 200 hotel rooms and 1.5 million square feet of office space on roughly 260 acres of underutilized industrial land in south Baltimore. Under Armour intend to builds 3.9-million-square-foot global headquarters adjacent to the project.

Activists have been critical of the public financing proposal and have portrayed it as a political favor for a well-connected developer. Supporters of the project, including a number of civic leaders and groups, say it’s an unparalleled economic opportunity for the city.