Public meeting for Eastport Landing scheduled

The public meeting on the controversial The Lofts at Eastport Landing project has been set for 7 p.m. June 8 in the City Council chambers. The meeting is being held to discuss the project's density, and any other issues, after concerns were raised the city inaccurately calculated how many units could be built on the 6.75 acre property. The residences will be housed on about 2 acres of the development. There are 127 proposed apartment units along with the commercial and retail developments. Multiple legal opinions have been made regarding the density calculations all with varying conclusions on how the city's law should be interpreted. Planning director Pete Gutwald to discuss those discrepancies and look for a path forward. (Balt. Sun)

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General cargo intake at Port of Baltimore sets quarterly record

Cargo intake at the Port of Baltimore increased 4.8 percent in the first quarter on the way to setting a new record. The port brought in 2.56 million tons of general cargo first quarter, up from 2.4 million tons in the same period last year. General cargo includes cars, containers, farm and construction machinery, forest products and breakbulk. A 6 percent increase in cars and an 8 percent increase in containers drove the overall growth in cargo. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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First look inside Betamore’s new City Garage space

Betamore recently opened for business at its new spot in Port Covington's City Garage. The Federal Hill-based incubator and startup hub announced plans last year to double its footprint by expanding to City Garage, the former bus depot Sagamore Ventures, the venture capital arm of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank's private investment firm, converted into space for startups and an innovation lab for the Baltimore-based athletic apparel brand. The 8,000-square-foot space at City Garage can accommodate about 90 people, said Betamore CEO Jen Meyer. The organization has about as many people based in its Federal Hill offices. (Balt. Sun)

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From Port Covington to Columbia, technology is changing the way developers think

Plank Industries CEO Tom Geddes says technology such as ridesharing application Uber is transforming the real estate development industry and changing the way future projects are being planned. The rise of smartphones and e-commerce is altering the way people get to work and causing companies to rethink the type of office space they want. Developers from projects like Tradepoint Atlantic and the redevelopment of downtown Columbia highlighted how they are trying to keep up with changes during a panel discussion led by Geddes at Gov. Larry Hogan's business summit in downtown Baltimore last week. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Spirit Airlines will add Cancun flight at BWI

Spirit Airlines plans to add flights to Cancun, Mexico, from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport starting in November. Cancun will be the airline's first international route at BWI, the airport said Monday. Spirit shifted its regional operations in September 2012 to the airport, where it has grown from serving two destinations to 19. Flights to Cancun start Nov. 9. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore startup raises $3 million to bring cybersecurity to shipping industry

A local cybersecurity firm has raised $3 million to develop its software platform aimed at improving real-time tracking in the shipping and logistics industry. Akua LLC, a spinoff of Baltimore cybersecurity company CyberPoint, was founded in April 2016. CEO Neil Furukawa said the company has been focused on developing its software and is now gearing up to expand. Akua plans to use the new funds to double the company's nine-member staff by the end of the year, Furukawa said, including hiring several new web designers and software engineers. The firm will also continue building up its software capabilities. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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May 22 // Developers of Eastport Landing accuse Annapolis officials of backroom dealing in attempt to thwart the project

The Eastport Landing project team released the following statement through one of its partners, Alex Kopicki, in response to Alderman Ross Arnett's email records confirming agreements to subvert the planning process: "We agree with Alderman Arnett that the City should keep its word, specifically with regard to the guidance provided to us in 2014 on the Eastport Landing project. We relied in good faith on the guidance provided by City's Director of Planning & Zoning as we moved forward with design and planning of the Eastport Landing project. Alderman Arnett's emails this week are an honest admission that local elected officials and city staff are engaged in backroom dealing that falls outside of the official zoning process. It is exactly this kind of backroom dealing that undermines the City as a good a place to do business." (Eye on Annapolis)

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Remaking Baltimore’s waterfront, with a splash of whiskey

Rising high above the new Sagamore Spirit distillery in South Baltimore is a white water tower with three maroon diamonds on each side, a nod to the jockey silks of the thoroughbred farm that provides the spring water for the company’s rye whiskey. The distillery, which opened a few weeks ago, is the latest endeavor of the growing business empire of Kevin A. Plank, founder and chief executive of the sportswear company Under Armour. His new enterprises — collectively they are called Plank Industries but nearly all have Sagamore in their names — are reshaping Baltimore’s waterfront and restoring luster to Maryland traditions and landmarks. (New York Times)

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