City council committee holds public hearing on Port Covington project

Posted at 11:34 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 07:43:03-04
Sagamore Development, the real estate firm owned by Under Armour CEO and Founder Kevin Plank, is asking the city for $660 million to go toward the Port Covington project in south Baltimore.
But before that happens, it must be approved by a key city council committee.
In front of the city council's taxation, finance and economic development committee, Sagamore representatives were peppered with questions.
Much of Wednesday's conversation focused on inclusionary housing.
"There is absolutely no intention, whatsoever, to exclude anybody from participating," Jon Laria, a lawyer for Sagamore, said.
The numbers look like this: the company has agreed to a goal of making 10 percent of the 7,500 on-site housing units affordable, which translates to about $66,000 for a family of four.

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Watchers want better assurances for both housing and jobs.
"We want guarantees around percentage of jobs that will be made available to Baltimore City residents," said Bishop Douglas Miles, a spokesman for the group of Baltimore faith leaders called BUILD. Miles said that number amounted to 51 percent. 
"We're asking for profit-sharing for the city," he said.
Port Covington is slated to be a mixed-use development of housing, restaurants and the new Under Armour headquarters, and Wednesday, hundreds piled into a room inside the city's War Memorial to hear about it.
"It should be slowed down until questions have ben resolved," Miles said.
Sagamore expects the bonds to be re-paid with future property taxes the project generates.
Wednesday evening, they issued a statement,
"[They] are confident the [project] will help inspire a new narrative for Baltimore as the center of innovation and global commerce .... and that Under Armour is committed to Baltimore; Baltimore is the city [they] call home."
"There are good reasons to move forward, however, it must be done in a way that works to the maximum benefit of the greater city," said Councilman Carl Stokes, chairman of the city council committee.
Stokes promised more meetings moving forward.
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