Originally published Ocotber 28, 2016

by The Baltimore Sun

 

As officials celebrated the start of the next building in Harbor East, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said it was the success of that neighborhood that convinced her to stand firm in her support of subsequent development projects — even when they came with controversial tax benefits.

Rawlings-Blake traced her support to a stand-off with the late developer and baker John Paterakis about two decades ago, when she disagreed with the city's decision to build a publicly subsidized hotel with Paterakis in Harbor East, instead of going with a different developer's site, closer to the convention center.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am to be wrong," she said, describing the hotel as the "first domino" that eventually led to the rest of the neighborhood's growth. "He made me a believer."

Rawlings-Blake offered one of many tributes to Paterakis, who died earlier this month, at the ceremony celebrating the $170 million Liberty Harbor East project. The 22-story building at 711 S. Central Avenue will house a new, 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods, 282 apartments, 35 condominiums and about 575 parking spaces. Work has been underway since last month.

 

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