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 next 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
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 will 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 helped every occupant who had to move find a new home, a skilled realtor and helped pay for moving expenses with the goal of helping everyone find a new home near their old neighborhood.
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?