St. Louis City Schedules Major NGA Announcement for Monday

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Next NGA West - St. Louis, MO

*The announcement was that the city would offer the 99-acre site to the federal government at no cost, matching the price offered by St. Clair County, IL.


With the announcement of a decision on the next location for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency headquarters pushed back to April 1, and a line in a federal budget request matching the cost of land adjacent to Scott Air Force Base proposed by St. Clair County, IL, the City of St. Louis has announced it will make a “Major NGA announcement” on Monday.

At stake is 3,000 existing jobs located in St. Louis City, and a new $1.6B project planned as the NGA’s home for the next century. From our previous reporting: The City of St. Louis has been lobbying hard to keep the next NGA headquarters within the city limits. Even though two additional sites are officially being considered in St. Louis County, the city site recently earned the endorsement of St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. The fourth site is located near Scott Air Force base in St. Clair County, IL.

[Click here for nextSTL coverage of the new NGA]

Next NGA West - St. Louis, MO

City of St. Louis press release on “Major NGA announcement”:

MONDAY: Federal and State Leaders Join Mayor Slay for Major NGA Announcement

WHAT: Following a private meeting with National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director Robert Cardillo this morning, Mayor Francis Slay will be joined by federal, state, and local leaders on Monday to make a major announcement regarding the City’s ongoing efforts to retain the NGA.

WHO: Mayor Francis Slay
Governor Jay Nixon
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt
Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay
Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed
Comptroller Darlene Green
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger
State Senators and Representatives
Community Leaders

WHEN: Monday, March 7, 2016 @ 10 a.m.

WHERE: St. Louis City Hall
Room 200 (Mayor’s Lobby)
1200 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63103


The NGA is expected to name its desired site on April 1, 2016, to move its 3,100 employees to a new $1.75 billion facility. As outlined in the final edition briefing book, the City of St. Louis is offering a well-connected, 99-acre urban site at the intersection of N. Jefferson and Cass Avenues. The Next NGA West video also highlights how St. Louis can continue to help the NGA meet its mission, just as it has done for the past 72 years.

“I was very pleased to share with Director Cardillo the City’s commitment to the NGA and to demonstrate how the City of St. Louis is the best location for the federal agency to continue to meet its mission,” Mayor Slay said following Friday morning’s meeting. “From our proximity to current employees and the next generation NGA workforce to a ready-to-go construction force and our connection to the type of high-tech facilities on which our national security will rely in the future, St. Louis is stepping up to the plate for the NGA.”

The proposed NGA site is located within a federally-designated Promise Zone and Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative.

The City’s project also has garnered prominent letters of support, including those from U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill, Roy Blunt, and Kit Bond (retired), Gov. Jay Nixon, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, and the NAACP and AFL-CIO, to name a few.

“The many benefits to the future of both St. Louis and NGA are immeasurable, promising, and exciting,” Mayor Slay said.

NGA Report 2nd Edition by

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  • Jeff Leonard

    Even if this goes to Illinois, I hope we’re big enough to say that this is still a tremendous win for the REGION. More than likely many of the thousands of workers will still live and pay taxes in MO. Having this connected to MetroLink is a plus. There are silver linings here.

    • rgbose

      It staying the region is better than not certainly. But job sprawl is damaging to the region, so to the extent the region can influence the site choice, it should be encouraging the north city location.

      • Alex Ihnen

        Yes – a new interchange and a short MetroLink extension only serving NGA would be a massive regional waste.

        • rgbose

          What interchange are they talking about building now? They’ve already built one with I-64 for $28M.

        • Jeff Leonard

          I’m in agreement that we need to pick the right location. And I’m not in favor of job sprawl. What I’m really commenting on/questioning is two things: 1) is obliterating the traditional residential street grid of N. St. Louis in favor of a suburban-like commercial development the best use of that land, and 2) are we able to recognize that thousands of jobs that stay in the region but are located in IL still constitute a win.

          Sticking just with question #1, I struggle with the proposed development in MO, and am honestly not sure it’s a better proposal than what’s suggested for Scott AFB. The STL option feels analogous to Adventura plopping a suburban apartment complex in the middle of a traditional residential neighborhood. I get that it might better than letting the area fall into further decline, but that’s not an argument most of the commentators on this blog typically make.

          Please don’t get me wrong. I’m all in that we need North St. Louis to be viable from both a residential and commercial perspective. But like watching St. Bridget of Erin reduced to rubble this weekend, I lament the trade-offs we may have to embrace to make that a reality.

          • Alex Ihnen

            I agree. The North City site is problematic. I’ve argued to retain the street grid and for good urban design. For better or worse, and really for worse, there’s quite a lot of precedent to eliminate streets in the city – SLU, Wells Fargo, WUMC, BJC, and other sites. Perhaps, if we can focus on opening the grid in some places, returning to two-way streets, and investing in the urban experience there, we will have created something special. I don’t think it’s simple pessimism to believe that this just can’t be achieved everywhere. I’ve long maintained that the challenge in rebuilding the north side is much larger than almost anyone really understands. The NGA plan is absolutely not what I would have come up with if I could wave a magic urbanism wand, but I do believe it’s important for the city to retain the NGA, and that it’s important for the NGA to be in an urban center. This certainly isn’t an easy call.

            Now if the city can keep NGA, then raise the earning’s tax to 1.5%, it’s a winner. 🙂 What are the feds going to do, pack up and leave?

    • Tim E

      The win for the REGION already happened when NGIA announced it was going to keep in the metro area instead of having to compete with say Denver or Phoenix.

      The question now, what is best for the region? IL is literally broke but the gov announced he will plop down +100 million in new greenfield infrastructure. I have no doubt it will come at a cost to rest of Metro East and SIUE. MO and city will announce the same. The difference I would argue is in MO it is at least going back into a built environment in decline that utilizes existing interchanges, replaces existing pipes in the ground & rebuild streets and the likes.

  • Don

    Illinois’ financial woes and the fact that despite the Governor’s assurances, Illinois has no budget including any money allocated for the NGA has to help MO, no?

    • Chicagoan

      Probably. Rauner strolled into Springfield promising to “shake it up” or whatever, but then he came up against the machine and it has given him hell. He played some part in bringing ConAgra Foods to Chicago, but there have been a bunch of relocation projects here, I think it would have happened regardless.

  • Tim E

    My bet is Slay will announce that they will provide the land and it associated infrastructure for free to match IL offer. My thought that now the stadium is a dead deal that MO political leadership woke up to the reality of the dog fight and how they could lose it.

  • Don

    Roy Blunt and Lacy Clay (he’s my Congressman and I can’t remember the last time he showed up for anything) aren’t showing up for a dog and pony show about land acquisition or better still, to announce that they have failed the voters in an election year.

    I thought it was lost too, but this star studded lineup suggest they have turned the tide. Failures are announced in press releases following the official announcement of the move.

  • Jacob Walker

    I think it means they’re not going to put it in North City, it seems like they already have the budget allocated to put it in Illinois.

    • Tim E

      For what its worth the NGIA director has stated that the number is a place holder to start the process which will be a 5 year endeavor to build out. Weak statement but I work with a lot of Federal contracts and they go through a mind number process of annual budgeting that starts over every year.

  • Josiah

    I’m trying to think what they’re going to announce? That they’ve acquired all the land officially? Only other thing I can think of is maybe an announcement relating to the current facilities and what they plan on doing there in the future

    • thomas h benton

      They’re trying to put on the full court press

      • John R

        I see the Illinois delegation is doing exactly that right now… Mo is just doing it on a Monday instead of a Friday.

  • Chaifetz10

    So… you’re saying there’s a chance?!