ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Work is underway to tear down vacant structures in north St. Louis at the planned site of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s $1.75 billion western headquarters.
Of the 136 vacant properties, construction crews have already knocked down 24. The goal is to level out the entire 97 acres of land.
"So if you drive along Jefferson Avenue or Cass and you look over, you won't see anything," said Otis Williams, executive director of the City of St. Louis Economic Development. "So we need to be able to turn this over to the NGA in almost a pristine condition."
Williams said the debris left from the ongoing demolition will be taken to properly permitted sites.
"There is a disposal plan so we have a number of the contractors come in with haulers," Williams said. "And some of the brick will be recycled."
Williams said that demolition work will increase in the coming days to make sure the site is ready to be turned over to the NGA come January 2018.
"There are people out here every day and there will be more and more people as we start to award more contracts," Williams said. "And so the major utilities like water, the Metropolitan Sewer District, Ameren, and Laclede are all here. We have cut off the electricity and utilities to all of the structures, particularly north of Market Street at this point, and then will go further south."
Williams said that in the next week or so, no one will be able to enter the site or drive through it as crews will be fencing it all in.