National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director Robert Cardillo announced today the preliminary decision to relocate the NGA West campus to North St. Louis. While we understand that this is disappointing news for the other three proposed site locations, it is a great win for the St. Louis region. NGA’s commitment to the St. Louis region is a validation of our quality workforce and longstanding contribution to national defense. The agency will keep its 3,100 high-skill, high-wage jobs in the greater St. Louis area. The significant $1.6 billion investment for the new NGA campus will create hundreds of construction jobs and incentivize further development in St. Louis City.
The St. Louis Regional Chamber fully supports beneficial public and private improvements considered within the St Louis bi-state region. We admire the elected officials and local economic development organizations that advanced their best efforts for sites within their jurisdictions. In particular, both St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay have shown effective leadership by getting strategic sites in their jurisdictions ready for the opportunity and always taking the high road regarding the alternative sites within the region. These efforts demonstrated what can happen when people come together for a common goal. We would like to see more public-private efforts like this to attract investment and talent into our region. Proactive communities attract more jobs, more people, and more prosperity for all.
Chairman Kern, Governor Rauner and their team did a stellar job of the very difficult and complex task of assembling the site needed to fulfill NGA's needs. They did every single thing asked of them and everything that they could to win this deal. Clearly, they made NGA's decision very difficult. The entire region should support them as they build on their great work to develop the site in St. Clair County in another way.
The final decision expected this spring recognizes NGA’s long history in St. Louis and will cement the metropolitan region’s status as a full partner in NGA’s critical mission. We are confident that the studies undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are providing professional and quality guidance to the NGA as they make this momentous decision. With NGA’s commitment to remain in our St. Louis metropolitan region, we have--and they have--already won.