In the late 1990s, the city of Baltimore and the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) solicited proposals for the development of additional quality hotel rooms in the downtown Inner Harbor area. The winning development team included a local prominent landowner and a nationally renowned minority developer who had expertise with Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) participation in public/private partnerships. The partnership’s proposal for a four-star, multi-market convention hotel was selected as the winner by the Mayor and the BDC, thereby qualifying for public investment.
In addition, the hotel, which opened in 2001, is located within a Federal Empowerment Zone. The $129 million hotel project received public investment consisting of a $5 million grant, a $5 million low interest loan, a training grant, a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) 25-year tax abatement, and various street and waterfront improvements. Public investment in the project including the value of the PILOT was approximately 29% of the total. The private investment was financed with a mortgage loan and significant equity from the development team.