Contractors pack NGA development meeting to get a piece of the action

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The benefits of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency project in north St. Louis were becoming evident Tuesday night. Contractors were learning how they can get some of the work for a development estimated to be worth $1.75 billion.

Lots of people were excited at the meeting of contractors. It was standing room only.  Baseball great Lou Brock’s son was there hoping to get some of the work for his company.  Lou Brock, Jr. said, “For the local economy it means everything, not only for the businesses but for the people who live here to find gainful employment that’s a big part of the local economy as well.”

The first thing to be done is to clear all the land and clean it up, about 99 acres.  That means, moving utilities, taking out streets and alleys and demolishing buildings. It’s expected to cost around $45 million. Many of the contractors want to do some of the work.  Devon Britton is a contractor, “I’m looking for something to take me to the next level or something like that I could put a lot of people to work.”

The city is in charge of selecting contractors for this first phase, minorities and women are supposed to get a fair share of the work. Nobody wants to see the big chunk of money go to out of town companies. Paige Livengood is a contractor.  She said, “I’d like to stay local so we can revitalize our area as well as work on the project.”

Some of the contractors are big others are small.  The people in charge are working to make sure all sizes get a cut of the business. Otis Williams is Executive Director of the St. Louis Development Corporation.  He said, “We know there’s a lot of interest we will have different size packages for people to bid on we hope the little guy as well as the big guy get a chance to get some benefit from this business”

It’s expected as many as 2,000 workers will be needed on the site until completion of the NGA campus. Later this month, federal officials are expecting to meet with contractors who want to learn more about how they can get hired to build the project.