St. Louis will hold on to the western headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Currently located in south St. Louis, the NGA will build a new home on land in north St. Louis City, the preliminary site that was chosen in March. The head of the NGA officially announced on Thursday that St. Louis would be the final choice over one near Scott Air Force Base.
There had been a bidding war between the city and St. Clair County at a site next door to Scott. Illinois officials from both sides of the political aisle, and at the local, state and federal level, lobbied the agency for months about the positive aspects of the Metro East location to no avail. Robert Cardillo announced earlier this spring to relocate the agencies western headquarters from a site in south St. Louis to the north city location, although it will mean about four-dozen properties would need to be taken through imminent domain. There will also need to be environmental clean up of some property. Illinois officials had offered the needed property for free, and most of it was farmland and ready for development. Missouri officials praised the decision as good for the city, keeping the more than 3-thousand jobs with the possibility of adding more. Construction could begin next summer, with completion scheduled for 2022 or 2023.