Stokes will hold hearing on Harbor Point

The chairman of the City Council's taxation committee says he'll hold a hearing on $107 million in infrastructure financing for the Harbor Point development now that he's received documents outlining the case for the funding.

Last week, Councilman Carl Stokes said he wanted more detailed information from the Baltimore Development Corp. before holding a hearing on tax increment financing for infrastructure at Harbor Point, which would house a regional headquarters for the energy giant Exelon Corp.


Stokes said Monday he'll hold the hearing July 17.

Under tax increment financing deals, the city issues bonds to pay for infrastructure improvements and other project costs, then uses the increased tax revenue generated by the development to pay off the bonds.

Proponents of the $1 billion mixed-use waterfront development between Harbor East and Fells Point had criticized Stokes for delaying the hearing, saying he was also delaying the creation of needed jobs. On Friday, Stokes said, the BDC provided him with a consultant's report in response.

The report states that Harbor Point Development Group LLC will spend $1.21 billion developing the property, but it will be valued at completion at only $1.07 billion. It also states the developer will receive a rate of return on the project of 10.7 percent without public funds, but 14 percent with public funds. By 2031, investors would make $124 million without public funds, but $174 million with public funds, the report states.

Developer Michael S. Beatty said Monday he welcomed the hearing. "We are looking forward to having a full public discussion of the facts about Harbor Point," he said in an email. "Harbor Point will bring new residents, new jobs and millions of dollars in new tax revenue to kick-start Baltimore's growth."

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has said the Harbor Point project would create about 7,200 construction jobs, and roughly 9,200 jobs would be supported by the businesses that move in.

The former site of the Allied Signal chromium plant, Harbor Point now sits mostly vacant. The developer expects work to start this summer on a 23-story skyscraper to house the Exelon headquarters, space the company would lease from Beatty for about $120 million over 15 to 20 years. The site also would be home to Morgan Stanley and other tenants.