Baltimore getting 5th enterprise zone Area is from Waverly to Baltimore Street

Urban affairs

July 16, 1998|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore Development Corp. said yesterday that the state has approved a fifth enterprise zone for the city.

The Central Area Enterprise Zone encompasses the Waverly business district on both sides of Greenmount Avenue and extends south of 33rd Street to Baltimore Street.

The original plan for the zone, which offers targeted tax breaks to new and existing businesses, had been controversial because it included only the east side of Greenmount Avenue and included the Memorial Stadium site.

Councilman Robert Curran accused the BDC in April of trying to exclude city officials and community groups from having a say in the de- velopment of the stadium area.

Curran wants the land to be used for parks and recreation; others see it as a potential site for housing or businesses.

Since April, Curran and the Better Waverly Community Association had worked with the BDC to redraw the zone.

The new area does not include Memorial Stadium but does include the west side of Greenmount Avenue.

"My concern was that we can't have a business on one side of the street have tax credits and businesses across the street not have those advantages. It would make no sense," Curran said yesterday. "I'm happy that the entire Waverly business area was included and that Memorial Stadium was excluded."

Curran said he will hold a public hearing Oct. 21 to discuss plans for the Memorial Stadium site.

BDC President M. J. "Jay" Brodie said he is "delighted" with the redrawn zone. The group's next step, he said, is to tell area businesses they can take advantage of tax credits.

Construction or renovation, for example, can qualify a business for a tax credit, as can creating jobs and filling them with people who live in the enterprise zone.

The tax credit for renovation and construction can save a developer 30 cents to 35 cents per square foot, Brodie said.

Pub Date: 7/16/98

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