St. Louis, Missouri (STL.News) The new western headquarters of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) is one step closer to becoming a reality. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning for the $1.7-billion project in historic old north St. Louis.
The event drew hundreds, including national, state, and local lawmakers. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is among those who delivered remarks during the ceremony. During his speech, the Republican lawmaker touted the economic boost this project will bring to the community.
“The $250 million annual payroll that will come to this facility will reverberate throughout the economy.” Blunt said.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Blunt worked to secure $291 million in further funding for the construction of the New NGA West facility in North St. Louis as part of the FY2019 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
U.S. Congressman Lacy Clay also spoke during the ceremony. The Democratic lawmaker recognized the residents of this longtime blighted community.
“I want to thank the residents of this historic neighborhood, some of whom have remained here for generations, hoping and praying for a resurgence from the blight and neglect after so many of your neighbors had moved out. You never gave in, you never gave up, you never lost hope. And today, your prayers have been answered.” Clay said.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson echoed that sentiment.
“I think this will be very transformative for this neighborhood, for the City of St. Louis, and for this region.
NGA been a significant presence in St. Louis for seven decades and currently employs more than 3,000 local employees. The decision to build at a new location in St. Louis was announced in June of 2016.
The 97-acre site is expected to be completed by 2023. The operational campus is anticipated to be completed in 2025. The project is considered the largest federal government investment in St. Louis history.