Another important mark of progress for St. Louis NGA site

ST. LOUIS – A major milestone for the NGA site in north St. Louis as city leaders transferred the land over to the federal government.

“This is the federal government's largest single investment ever in St. Louis, so we're really looking forward to the positive impact that it will have in this community,” said St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

The St. Louis Central Library in downtown hosted Thursday morning’s signing ceremony, making the US Air Force the official landowners.

“This was a Missouri team effort. It was a full-court press,” said Rep. Lacy Clay. “We all came together at all levels of government to see this project through.”

“It's huge for our entire region and also important for our war fighter and for defense,” said Rep. Ann Wagner.

The US Army Corps of Engineers will coordinate construction of the site on behalf of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The $1.7 billion project is expected to create more than 3,000 permanent jobs and 1,500 construction jobs.

“Our goal is to make sure jobs located around the site to foster residential development and businesses located around their office complex to upgrade the infrastructure in the area as well,” said Otis Williams, director of the St. Louis Development Corporation.

Workers have finished clearing nearly 100 acres of land to make way for the new NGA site at the corner of Jefferson and Cass, just north of downtown St. Louis.

“We really get to reimagine our mission and our mission is to secure the nation, so we literally get a blank canvas to design the future, which means the next 100 years in north St. Louis,” said Robert Cardill, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Construction on the NGA West headquarters could start by 2021, with a completion date in 2024 or 2025.