Sounds like a case of cronies trying to shake down other cronies while doing business in a city administered by cronies. There’s a lot of cronyism going on in Baltimore.
This reminds me of the situation a couple of years ago in Brooklyn surrounding the building of the Atlantic Yards stadium.
The play seems to be this:
A developer gets a sweetheart deal from the city. The local residents then shake down the developer so that the developer can develop. The city council plays whatever side makes sense at the time to further political and monetary interests for them. Then the project never ends up making money. (Except for the cronies.)
(From The Baltimore Brew)
A group of Baltimore clergy – backed by prominent city power players – want $25 million from Michael Beatty as the price for their support of the Harbor Point development, The Brew can exclusively report.
The Brew has obtained a 12-page draft agreement of a “community benefits agreement” drawn up by the Community Churches for Community Development, a group co-founded by Rev. S. Todd Yeary, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s pastor, and Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway.
Now circulating at the highest levels of City Hall, the document calls on a range of payments and services from the Beatty organization, including Internet wireless service and fresh produce for Perkins Homes residents.
The document is the outgrowth of efforts by Councilman Carl Stokes to bring benefits to the poor black community north of Harbor Point, which Stokes said Beatty took advantage of to secure a state “EZ” (Enterprise Zone) tax credit worth $88 million.