About the Next NGA West in North St. Louis project

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is the nation's primary source of geospatial intelligence for the Department of Defense and the U.S. Intelligence Community. It provides support to U.S. national security and defense, as well as disaster relief. Learn more about NGA. 

St. Louis and NGA: Past, Present, Future

For over 70 years the City of St. Louis has supported the NGA and its mission, with its western facility just south of downtown. In 2014 NGA announced that it would move from its current facility at 3200 S. 2nd Street because it was determined a new facility would best support its future needs and technologies. This move is scheduled for 2024. 

 1943-1952  Aeronautical Chart Plant (ACP)
 1952-1972  Aeronautical Chart & Information Center (ACIC)
 1972-1996  Defense Mapping Agency (DMA Aerospace Center or DMAAC)
 1996-2003  National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA)
 2004-Future  National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

In June of 2016, NGA announced that St. Louis will remain its home and the new NGA West will be developed north of downtown in the St. Louis Place neighborhood. 

Announcing its decision, NGA Director Robert Cardillo outlined why the Agency selected St. Louis City's site for building a 21st-century campus. Reasons include: environmental, cost and policy advantages; partnerships with universities and innovative, technology-based companies; the ability to recruit new talent based on the environment the City offers; and proximity to its data facilities and current and future workforce.

Preparing for Next NGA West 

NGA’s decision to remain in the City of St. Louis came as a result of hard work and support from the City, St. Louis County, the State of Missouri, and Missouri’s Congressional Delegation.

The City’s commitment to NGA includes site acquisition, preparation, and utility relocation and improvements; a full highway interchange at N. Jefferson Avenue and I-64/ 40; and enhancements to N. Jefferson and Cass Avenues. The north St. Louis location has multiple vehicular site access options, access to public transit and bicycle facilities, and can offer the physical set-backs that NGA requires.

Investing in the Community

The next NGA West will bring significant investment and redevelopment potential to a community that has seen decades of economic stress and disinvestment. To ensure coordination and collaboration between neighborhood revitalization, transportation, and other redevelopment efforts, along with the City’s investments to support the NGA, the City has launched Project Connect. This initiative is an Action Plan that will be developed by the City and its residents to connect current initiatives being proposed by both the public and private sector.

To learn more about Project Connect, visit: https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/project-connect/

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the St. Louis site chosen?

NGA chose the St. Louis site because our vibrant, urban location will be a major draw for the best high-tech employees. The high-skilled workers employed by NGA – especially young recruits – want to share in the excitement of our City, and they’ll bring a lot of skills and investment, too. When evaluating the competing relocation sites, Robert Cardillo, the Director of the NGA, weighed mission needs, security concerns, cost, environmental impacts, and applicable laws, policies, and executive orders – and St. Louis was clearly the best option.

Did the City use eminent domain to purchase properties? And what is the City doing to help people who have to move?

To provide a site for NGA, the City had to gather the 551 parcels that make up the footprint. There were 63 occupied homes on the site. The vast majority of those parcels and homes – 507 out of 551, to be exact – were sold by the owner to the City without using eminent domain. The other 44 properties entered the eminent domain process. Of those, only 4 were owner-occupied houses. The other 40 were either empty, abandoned, rented, or had legal title issues that made the eminent domain process necessary.

The City is helping every occupant who had to move find a new home, with the goal of helping everyone find a new home near their old neighborhood by October, 2016. The City is helping each moving resident find a skilled realtor, and helping pay for moving expenses.

How much tax money is being spent for site proposal, land preparation, and assisting neighborhood homeowners?

The State of Missouri is providing the majority of public funding for this project. $95 million in state money has been set aside for construction costs. Additionally, up to $36 million in state Brownfield Tax Credits will be used to build on land in North St. Louis that has been vacant for years. Finally, the City of St. Louis will spend half of the earnings tax generated by the NGA – up to $1.5 million per year for the next thirty years – to fund the project. The other half of the earnings tax NGA pays will go towards General Revenue.

What about crime in the area?

Crime in the neighborhoods surrounding the NGA site has been steadily declining in recent years. This is because of an effective combination of greater police presence, vigilant citizens, and new business investments. To continue this trend, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the NGA worked together to develop a crime fighting strategy that they outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding. The NGA Security Forces will have jurisdiction adjacent to the NGA site to protect both NGA employees and neighborhood residents.

How can residents have their voices heard?

Hearing your thoughts and opinions helps us improve on our mistakes and build on positive momentum. If you have a question about the NGA project, please leave a comment on this website or call the dedicated feedback phone line at (314) 622-4080. If the project has negatively impacted your neighborhood, please file a complaint with the Citizen’s Service Bureau at (314) 622-4800 or online at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/public-safety/neighborhood-stabilization-office/citizens-service-bureau. If you have an idea about how we could improve the website, please leave a comment on this site. Positive feedback of all types is equally helpful – it helps us know what practices we should increase and continue. Your feedback is extremely important, and we are working every day to engage the community, address complaints, and answer your questions.

Public Safety

Public safety is being addressed in multiple ways on this project. 

1 Real Time Crime Center. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s 24-hour analysts compile streaming video, data analytics, resource tracking, social media, computer-aided dispatch systems and geospatial mapping information in order to reduce officer response times and improve agency efficiency.

2 PIER and SAVE Programs. Focused on strategies for Prevention, Intervention, Enforcement, and Reentry, these programs include short, medium, and long-term strategies to make every neighborhood safer. In addition, a Community Crime Commission provides oversight and expertise.

3 Community Engagement and Organizational Development Division. This division works with the community and includes designated hours for officers to engage with kids in parks, have coffee with seniors, and deploy neighborhood bike units, among other things. 

4 The "St. Louis Model." This organized multi-agency crime reduction initiative utilizes a strategic and customized approach by engaging the community as an active partner in the crime prevention process.

5 24-Hour Security. On the next NGA West site specifically, there will be 24-hour security patrols once site preparation begins.

More information: 

First Responder Proximity

The Police Department's Central Patrol Division is located just blocks away from the next NGA West site with 270 commissioned staff. Two fire stations, including the Fire Department Headquarters and training facility, are adjacent to the NGA site and house nearly 600 firefighters and 150 EMS personnel. This provides both redundancy and 24/7/365 response capability.

During the preparation of the NGA site there will be 24/7 security patrols to ensure that all contractors on the site and the surrounding residents and businesses are kept safe.

Learn more: 

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