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The Dripby Mark Reutter6:30 pmApr 25, 20160

Finance Board approves Port Covington TIF subsidy

The $535 million in bond money will help create 42 new city blocks for Kevin Plank’s planned mixed-use development

Above: Members of the Finance Board, including Comptroller Joan Pratt (third from left) and Kaliope Parthemos (fifth from left) representing the mayor, at today’s meeting. (Mark Reutter)

The Board of Finance today unanimously approved the proposed $535 million TIF (tax increment financing) subsidy for Kevin Plank’s Port Covington project in South Baltimore.

The board will hold a special meeting on May 9 to review legislation that will go to the City Council setting up the TIF district and bonding authority for the proposed 260-acre development sought by the private investment firm of Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank.

The TIF funding will not go for infrastructure improvements for the headquarters campus planned by Under Armour, the board was told.

Instead, the money will help finance roads, sewers, parks – as well as a lake, marina, piers and a fixed-track “circulator” transit system – for 42 city blocks planned by Plank’s Sagamore Development Co. as part of the new community.

The community will be built on former industrial property acquired by Plank north and west of UA’s proposed new headquarters along the northern rim of the Middle Branch.

Today’s approval, which was expected, came after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Board of Estimates approved an agreement last week exempting Sagamore from the city’s 20% Inclusionary Housing Law. In its place, Sagamore has pledged to a “goal” of creating 10% housing for lower-income residents by seeking federal housing grants.

The little-known Finance Board reviews and approves all bond issues. Representing Rawlings-Blake today was her chief of staff, Kaliope Parthemos.

She and three board members (Comptroller Joan Pratt, Dana C. Moulden and Larry I. Silverstein) gave “concept approval” of the TIF, which will use future property tax revenues generated by the project to underwrite its infrastructure. The board’s fifth member, Fred W. Meier Jr., was absent.

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