Bill would give project a break of $9.5 million

PILOT measure is second for Light Street site

October 05, 1999|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Plans for a 35-story hotel and office building in Baltimore's downtown received a boost last night when a bill providing a second tax break for the project was introduced in City Council.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke requested the payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, for the skyscraper that would be built at 1 Light St.

The city granted $6.1 million in tax breaks for the project in June, but the developers have been seeking another PILOT that would save them an additional $9.5 million over 10 years.

Another measure introduced last night would provide a PILOT for construction of a low-rise building at the Harborview condominiums on Key Highway.

Both projects have their share of controversy.

The Light Street project has raised the ire of preservationists because the developer, J. J. Clarke Enterprises Inc., plans to tear down the 81-year-old Southern Hotel, a one-time city landmark, and build on the site.

Residents in southern Baltimore oppose the expansion of the towering Harborview complex, which has been criticized for blocking views of the harbor. One council member who represents southern Baltimore said she plans to oppose the PILOT for Harborview.

"The community is not in favor of it," said Councilwoman Lois Garey. "Harborview has already had a tax break. How many times should [Harborview] be able to take a bite out of the apple?"

In other business last night, Schmoke sent to the council 10 nominees for the newly formed civilian police review board.

The nominees include: Gary Gillespie, Charlene Ames, Winifred Ashby, William A. Brent, George W. Collins, Doreen Rosenthal, Leonard Scott, Darlene Daisy Stauch, Cleoda R. Walker and Dr. Rusty White.

Although their terms would end when Schmoke leaves office in December, the next mayor could decide to keep them.

Pub Date: 10/05/99

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