Decent jobs and a guarantee of affordable housing ought to be part of any deal to allow significant tax breaks to developers in Baltimore City. Unfortunately, with the long-planned Superblock project on Baltimore’s West Side, neither jobs nor affordable housing may be in the offing. A real show of public pressure might change this, however.
Churches and Communities United, a group that works for fair housing and jobs in Baltimore, is rallying to hold the Superblock project to the Planning Commission’s stipulation that the project provide “an expectation of jobs for city residents” if it is to get tax relief from the City. The Baltimore Development Corporation, the Planning Commission, Board of Estimates and City Council are all responsible for approving any PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) break that would go to the Dawson Company for undertaking the project.
The Superblock has a cost estimate of $152 million and includes 296 residential rental units, over 217,000 square feet of retail space, and a 650 space parking garage. The Baltimore Development Corporation’s analysis says 634 construction jobs will be created and 2,300 jobs will be provided by the finished Superblock. The rally is to demand that a local hiring standard be part of any PILOT agreement, and to make clear that Baltimoreans will hold every party responsible if good jobs do not materialize as part of this project.
Participants should meet for the rally on:
Wednesday, June 27th
36 S. Charles St. (by the BDC building) Baltimore, MD 21201
This post is intended to provide an opportunity for citizen engagement and does not necessarily represent the mission of CPHA.