NGA’s north St. Louis plan draws divergent responses from officials, neighbors

The announcement late last week that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency had identified north St. Louis as the preliminary choice to house its new, $1.75 billion western headquarters was celebrated by local and state leaders. But not everyone in St. Louis greeted the news with jubilation.

Though much of the 100-acre swath of land northwest of downtown is vacant, it’s still home to some 200 residents and a handful of businesses. Many of them gathered Friday and mourned the fate of their neighborhood, saying their concerns have not been taken seriously.

However, many backers of the project say the spy agency’s new facility will spur development and revitalize an economically stagnant area.

The NGA’s 3,100 employees, they say, will bring demand for housing, food and gas. Businesses around the NGA’s current facility in south St. Louis — from Big Daddy’s Bar & Grill to the Benton Park Café — can attest to that, and they say they’ll miss the business when the agency moves.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Public Radio

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