The Six Short-Listed Sites Considered for the NGA’s New Home

nextSTL was the first to outline the footprint for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s proposed north St. Louis City site. That site includes the 34 acres of Pruitt-Igoe and an additional ~80 acres. Below are the outlines of the five other short-listed sites (images not presented to scale). More from nextSTL: City Set to Offer Pruitt-Igoe and Additional 22 City Blocks to Keep 3,000 NGA Jobs.

  • tpekren

    Trying to figure out why everyone thinks this facility is dependent upon razor wire and physical barrier such as a river to secure itself let alone being next to Scott AFB. I think security in the case means from the digital world and the hackers who would love to gain access. Forget about this Mission Impossible world BS and get back to reality. The real threat is half away around the world using their laptops and sophisticated software.
    Sorry, Scott AFB proposed site is nothing more than another greenfield development that has nothing to do with its security. Instead, it has everything to with the Illinois political delegation landing more federal dollars for Southern Illinois by poaching them from its neighbor across the river if it has to as well as a way to keep Scott AFB open just as Mid America, with Federal Dollars, was built to secure a second runway when the region had plenty of runways. While I don’t blame him, Senator Durbin doesn’t care if St. Louis grows as a metro region and thus benefitting the metro east.. What he cares about the voters in Southern Illinois believe he is bringing home the bacon and will try to make use of his buddy a former IL Senator who so happens to be in the White House.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Regarding the need or desire for security, I understand there’s some skepticism. Whether we like it, understand it, or agree with it, the fact is that the NGA is going to build a very physically secure site. Maybe they’ll put the fences behind landscaping, or somehow else disguise it, but they very much consider physical barriers and setbacks a necessity.

  • kjohnson04

    I was all ready to say “let’s keep NGA in the city,” and then I started reading about their unreasonable demands in an urban environment. Let them move to Northpark. Woo somebody else to the city. NGA’s dream campus in right at home at Northpark or the Chesterfield Valley. Let them have it. Plenty of other ways to obtain and create 300 jobs.

    • tpekren

      k, its 3,000 jobs, not 300 like you might get out of the new Ikea and understand the new facility will also expand their head count to over 5,000 jobs. On top of it, those are well paying jobs and well beyond any job you will ever see at an Ikea. No one has moved 5,000 jobs into the city in decades.
      On top of it, every local major corporate expansion the region has happen outside the city from Edward Jones, Centene, Express Scripts, and RGA’s new corporate campus. Not single one decided to build their new digs in the city. Centene came close but couldn’t settle a deal with DeWitt/Cordish so you got a parking lot around a new bar called Ballpark Live.

      • Adam

        where are you hearing 5000 jobs? people keep throwing around numbers like 5000 and 7000. there has been no official statement about the number of jobs. as far as we know it will be the same 3000 jobs.

  • Daniel S. Leritz

    Next to Scott AFB is an incredible amount of open acreage just begging to be developed. The land is technically owned by Mid America Airport, which shares infrastructure with Scott AFB. Mid America’s land stretches pretty much from IL Route 158 (the main Scott AFB exit from 64/40), south of the highway, and goes all the way east up to Mid America’s runways, about one and a half miles. In this stretch, the developable land extends about a half-mile deep south of the highway. This is the same land that Belleville pitched to Boeing for the 777X. This land is in addition to land the airport owns east of Route 4 south of 64/40. Combined, their property is so big that Tim Cantwell, Director of Mid America Airport (and one helluva good guy), has been named the second largest farmer in Southern IL. There are already plans for a new direct exit from 64/40 to the site, one that’s been waiting in the wings for the right project to come along as they promoted their acreage to the private sector. With their history of cooperation, and noting the Agency’s needs for absolute security, it only makes sense that Scott AFB and Mid America Airport will put together a solid pitch to the NGA.

    • rgbose

      Small note, US 40 doesn’t run with I-64 out there.

  • Presbyterian

    Um … Go NorthPark?

    Give NoCo some love, perhaps … without eliminating a city neighborhood for a suburban campus?

    Better yet, don’t build anti-urban biases into the selection criteria.

    • Geoff Whittington

      NP currently being touted by a firm to an interested party for a potentially huge distribution center. Slowly developing. Other sites in the area are also being looked at.

      • John R

        Amazon? I see they are making more announcements, including Kansas City (Lenexa) and Pittsburgh.

    • Brianstl

      Um…. The city site hasn’t really been a neighborhood for decades. The vast majority of the site is vacant land.

      • Presbyterian

        True. But we’ve spent five years painting a vision for a neighborhood there. I’d want to know how the site would interact with that vision. A 500-foot setback, acres of asphalt and razor wire don’t sound very homey to me.

    • Geoff Whittington
  • matty_fred

    The Scott AFB site is shaped kinda like an elephant’s head.

    • Presbyterian

      I thought it was an anteater.

  • STLEnginerd

    Were sites along the river automatically eliminated from consideration due to flooding? There is a ton of empty space in East St. Louis. Additionally North and South Riverfronts on the river are equally vacant and by and large they are in the city. Seems like the river provides a natural setback so they could reduce the land requirements significantly… unless they are worried about submarines…?
    I mentioned 9250, and 9300 Riverview on the previous discussion chain.

    • Alex Ihnen

      I think if you really look for 50 acres along the riverfront you wouldn’t find it. Some of that area seems empty, but the vast majority is in use, and several companies are expanding. Riverfront access is also a big selling point to some companies who ship via the river. An agency like this doesn’t fit that mold. IMO it makes sense to develop the riverfront with river access in mind.

      • STLEnginerd

        First i find it incredible that somehow river traffic will be able to support 100% river based bussinesses. Even in they hayday of St. Louis river traffic, much of the riverfront was undeveloped. Barge traffic has seen significant contraction over the last few decades and i can’t imagine growth being accelerated to the point that ALL the land along the riverfront should be reserved for that purpose.

        Secondly as I (perhaps naively) stated. I thought perhaps a river front location would provide the needed security buffer without cordoning off the land. Basically the river is a natural barrier to any infiltrators. If that is the case you should be able to reduce the amout of land required. For example if you took an OPTIMAL site (a perfect circle) given a required 500 ft setback 50 acres of land gives you about 8 buildable acres. Now if you put that 8 buildable acres against a natural boundary like a river (assuming it a half circle) and add back the 500 ft setback the required land drops to 34 acres. Now I think its fair to assume that the NGA isn’t planning to build an 8 acre building on a perfectly circular site but the principal of reducing the required land would be true in every equivalent comparison.

        Parking requirements assuming surface lots at 100 cars per acre assuming a shift and a half would need parking at any one time would be roughly 15 acres of parking. That means even assuming they were planning an 8 acre building less than half the site would be developed. The rest of the 50 acres would be greenspace but inaccessible to the public. Not ideal. If you can get away with reducing the greenspace bufferzone and instead having the river as a buffer zone you get a big space requirement reduction.

        The site I had mention (9300 and 9250 Riverview) are owned by someone named Mido Properties? and as best i can tell from the city website is being used for roof shingle recycling. The site encompasses approximately 36 acres plus there is roughly 10 adjacent acres which are owned by the city opposite the railroad track, and several more owned by the metropolitan sewer adjacent to cementland across Riverview. It has an additional advantage of being close to the chain of rocks which means commercial boat traffic is pretty minimal through here as they would tend to go through the channel with the lock and dam.

        Additionally there are sections of the river in East St. Louis which are bigger than Pruit Igoe and have little or no industry to speak of. I am not sure how to look into property information over there though as there system isn’t as modern and accesible as the city’s or the county’s.

        All this assumes that the river would be appropriate for use as a buffer zone. To me it seems obviously superior but i am not as familiar with the security factors they are dealing with. Perhaps flooding concerns disqualified the riverfront but it seems to me such engineering hurdles could be overcome.

    • tpekren

      I think a lot more is happening on the north riverfront then people realize. I think Geoff has outlined a few forthcoming expansions in addition to PG’s expansion. Green streets development is latest,

  • Jason

    Do the middle 3 meet the long size requirements?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Presumably. We do not have specifications for each site. The maps are roughly to scale (except Pruitt-Igoe), but not calibrated to one another.