Judge lets St. Louis condemn land for $1.7 billion federal facility

A St. Louis judge ruled Tuesday that the city is able to condemn 97 acres north of downtown owned by its development arm. The ruling eliminates a potential obstacle to construction of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new $1.7 billion western headquarters.

At issue was whether the Bank of Washington, the lender for developer Paul McKee, could prevent the city from condemning its own land before transferring the land to the federal government for the NGA complex.

McKee’s company owned land in the 97-acre footprint, and officials said the involvement of McKee’s lender could hurt the city’s ability to deliver a clean title ahead of a Nov. 14 deadline for the land transfer. That would have jeopardized the project, officials said.

That led to the city using eminent domain on property already owned by its Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, in an effort to remove claims to the acres.

Tuesday’s ruling both denied a motion to dismiss eminent domain proceedings and granted a condemnation action, effectively clearing the land of potential claims by the bank.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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