City Council gives preliminary approval to Harbor Point tax break
By LUKE BROADWATER
The Baltimore Sun|
Sep 11, 2012 | 7:00 AM
The Baltimore City Council gave preliminary approval on Monday to a proposal for a decade of tax breaks for Harbor Point, the future home of Exelon Corp.'s Baltimore headquarters.
Two council members, Nick Mosby and Carl Stokes, voted against including John Paterakis' Harbor East Development Group LLC's latest project in a state-wide tax credit program for economically disadvantaged areas. But the majority of the 14-member council approved the plan, which calls for the roughly 32-acre Harbor Point site to be included in Baltimore's Enterprise Zone. The measure will be up for a final vote at the next council meeting.
City Councilman James Kraft, a supporter of the proposal, said the tax breaks are needed because it's a "very difficult parcel to develop" that presents "unique challenges." Formerly the site of a chromium plant, the area could have problems with chemicals in the ground, Kraft said.
If the council approves Harbor Point's application, the Baltimore Development Corporation said, it expects to submit the expansion request to the state agency in mid-October.
Inclusion in the Enterprise Zone would make Harbor Point eligible for 10-years of local property tax credits based on the amount of capital invested in the property. The state reimburses local governments for half of the property tax revenue lost due to the credit.
The Harbor East Development Group expects that construction at Harbor Point will take place in phases over a 10-year period. The final complex on the site is to include 1.5 million square feet of office space, 1,000 residential units, 230,000 square feet of retail space, an 86,000-square-foot hotel and 3,000 parking spaces, the application said.
In another action, the council unanimously gave approval to an expanded tax zone benefiting Under Armour's complex in Locust Point.
Sun reporter Steve Kilar contributed to this article.