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Baltimore OKs finance deal for Under Armour CEO's $5.5 bln project

Sept 20 Baltimore's city council gave final approval for a $660 million public financing package to help fund a $5.5 billion project for Under Armour Inc Chief Executive Kevin Plank's real estate company, a council spokesman said on Tuesday.

The council voted 12-1 with two abstentions late on Monday to back Plank's Port Covington project, a mixed-use development on industrial waterfront, the spokesman said.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will sign the financing deal next week, said a spokeswoman for her.

The 260-acre (105-hectare) project includes an expanded headquarters for Baltimore-based Under Armour, the No. 2 U.S. sports apparel maker, as well as restaurants, stores, housing and manufacturing space.

Plank's company, Sagamore Development, has called Port Covington one of the biggest urban renewal projects in the United States.

The $660 million city subsidy will pay for infrastructure, such as roads, parks and sewers. Sagamore will pay back the bonds through taxes, a practice known as tax increment financing.

Sagamore has said the project would take more than 20 years and provide 26,500 jobs. Baltimore had an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent in July, almost 2 percentage points above the U.S. average, according to Maryland state figures. (Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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