BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The City of Baltimore and the Sagamore Development Company announced a $100 million benefits agreement Thursday, the latest move in the ongoing Port Covington Project saga.
Adding the land previously privately held by Sagamore that will now be owned by the City, the total value of the commitment could be $135,900,000 at full build-out.
Sagamore has asked the City for $660 million in tax incremented funding (TIF), the largest TIF in Baltimore history.
Sagamore Development is the real estate firm owned by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, who has been fighting for money from the government to transform the industrial waterfront property in South Baltimore.
The company’s plan is to transform the area to include offices, homes, shops, restaurants, parks and a new Under Armour campus.
Local officials have expressed concern about giving the project so much funding with any written guarantee of jobs for city residents.
But on Thursday, a new Memorandum of Understanding has promised more than $100 million in commitments for the city from Sagamore, making it the largest city-wide benefits package negotiated in Baltimore’s history.
“The City-Wide Community Benefits Commitment sets forth an unprecedented agreement to grow Baltimore, and ensures that Port Covington’s development is a success for surrounding communities and our city at-large,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
If approved, the more than $100 in community benefits include:
- $39 million of the commitment will directly benefit the six surrounding communities of Port Covington.
- $55 million in other direct city-wide benefits including workforce development initiatives, education programs, college scholarships, recreation facilities and youth summer jobs
- $6,500,000 in incremental costs for prevailing wages agreed to by Sagamore.
“Baltimore’s workforce is positioned to benefit from employment opportunities that will stretch across a generation,” Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young said. “The benefits agreement pumps tens of millions of dollars into programs to support workforce development initiatives, education programs, college scholarships and improvements to recreation facilities.”
“It is why we are doing this in Baltimore in the first place; we are committing to Baltimore, doubling-down on Baltimore,” Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries, said.
A city council committee is expected to vote on the new deal Thursday night. The deal could go in front of the full council Monday.
Council President Jack Young says he expects final passage of the deal by the end of the month.
The $5.5 billion project will provide thousands of new jobs, according to the projects website.