Port Covington city council hearing tomorrow, discussion tonight
Citizens will testify on Kevin Plank’s proposed waterfront city-within-the-city
Above: Under Armour’s CEO is seeking Baltimore’s biggest TIF financing package ever for a development near the new UA headquarters he is building. (Fern Shen)
You’ve seen the television ads for Port Covington and perhaps joined heated online discussion about the massive redevelopment plan that Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is pushing on the South Baltimore waterfront – tomorrow you will be able to sound off on it in person.
At 5 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday July 27) the City Council’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee will hold a public hearing on three bills to create a tax increment (TIF) district for Port Covington and approve $660 million in city bond money for the proposed mixed-use development.
The meeting has been moved from City Hall to the War Memorial Building, at 101 West Gay Street, to handle the expected crowds.
Over the next two to four weeks, the full Council is expected to vote on the financial aid package, which has the unconditional support of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young.
Red Emma’s Hosting Discussion
Tonight, Red Emma’s is sponsoring a discussion about Port Covington featuring some of the project’s most high-profile opponents – a diverse group that has raised question about Port Covington’s potential financial risks, its potential to worsen racial and economic segregation in Baltimore and many other issues.
“Why are hundreds of millions of dollars of public money slated to be poured into constructing an enclave of privilege in Port Covington while East and West Baltimore continue to struggle against disinvestment and decay?” online descriptions of the event ask.
“What would Baltimore City’s development policies look like if we truly grasped the lessons of last April’s uprising after the killing of Freddie Gray?”
The line-up includes Charly Carter, executive director of Maryland Working Families, Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, Dr. Lawrence Brown, assistant professor the School of Community Health at Morgan State University and Barbara Samuels, managing attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland’s Fair Housing Project.
The discussion, starting at 7:30 at Red Emma’s at 30 West North Avenue, is titled, “Pushing Back Against the Port Covington TIF.”
Many of the same critics are scheduled to assemble before tomorrow’s hearing at the War Memorial Building at 3 p.m. outside.