March 5 // Affordable housing still elusive

There’s demand for affordable housing in Baltimore — but finding the people to build it is difficult. Experts say that’s partly because federal support is declining for this segment of the market, which covers a broad spectrum of below-market-rate developments, from housing for teachers, police and firefighters to government-subsidized housing for the homeless. But they also say it’s hard to find the expertise to put together the funding to make it possible. (Daily Record)

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Bill would create guidelines for Uber, Lyft

They're not your traditional cabs, in fact, they're not cabs at all. Companies like Uber and Lyft are smartphone application-based, meaning you can request, track, and even pay for the transportation using their app on your phone. But traditional cab companies say if they're going to join in the transportation market, they need to follow the same guidelines across the board. "The taxi companies say, 'We have to do all these burdens and regulations, so should they.' I think that's the wrong approach. I think we should say, 'Are these regulations really protecting consumers and if not, why do we have them?'" said Sen. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City). (WMAR-TV)

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Legg Mason to acquire QS Investors

Legg Mason Inc. has agreed to acquire QS Investors, a New York-based investment firm with $4.1 billion in assets under management and nearly $100 billion in assets under advisory. Financial terms of the deal, announced Tuesday, were not disclosed. The Baltimore-based money management firm said it plans to integrate its Batterymarch Financial Management and Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation divisions over time into QS Investors. (Balt. Sun)

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BB&T opens Columbia loan processing office, plans to hire at least 20

BB&T Corp., the largest fifth-largest bank in Greater Baltimore, has opened a loan processing office in Columbia with about 30 employees and plans to add to more during the next year. Workers at BB&T’s “credit hub” review and approve commercial loans for customers in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. They provide a second review on loans already OK’d by BB&T’s loan officers. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Lower fees and protections for opting out of smart meters proposed

Some Marylanders are apprehensive that a digital, smart meter system measuring their electricity use violates their privacy and will heap on costs to electric bills. They are supporting legislation that would allow an inexpensive opt-out option. Sen. Delores Kelley, a Baltimore County Democrat, told the Senate Finance committee Tuesday that SB 880 offers a solution both satisfying to constituents and fair to the electric companies. (Md. Reporter)

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Developer Pat Turner faces more litigation over Westport

Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. is suing developer Patrick Turner to recover the costs of the extensive litigation that has surrounded his Westport development since 2011. The costs of that litigation will be at least $25,000, Citigroup said in the lawsuit, although the bank acknowledged those fees “cannot be calculated in advance with precision.” The fees were incurred in both the proceedings connected to Turner’s default on a $30 million loan Citigroup made to get Turner’s Westport development started, as well as a bankruptcy filing that has delayed Citigroup’s efforts to auction the property. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Under Armour's Plank soared in billionaire ranking

Kevin Plank soared up Forbes' list of the world's top billionaires. The 41-year-old founder and CEO of Baltimore-based Under Armour is now the world's 731st richest person, with a net worth of $2.4 billion. That's up from number 1,175 on last year's list, when Plank had a net worth of $1.2 billion. Plank, who owns more than 21 million shares of Under Armour, has steered the sports apparel maker in just the past several months through continued overseas expansion, the company's first acquisition and a 10-year deal to supply the athletic teams at the University of Notre Dame, Forbes noted in its list. (Balt. Sun)

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Benjamin Jealous to join West Coast venture capital firm

Former NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous, who stepped down in December, is joining a West Coast venture capital firm specializing in startups that diversify the tech industry and aim to have a positive social impact. Jealous, who will continue to reside in Silver Spring, will become a partner in the Kapor Center for Social Impact, joining entrepreneurs and center co-founders Mitchell Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein, the center said Tuesday. (Balt. Sun)

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