$1.75B Federal Intelligence Center To Be Built in St. Louis, MO

April 4, 2016

The federal government announced Friday a satellite intelligence facility that employs about 3,000 people will remain in St. Louis, Missouri instead of moving to Illinois.

The federal government announced Friday that a new construction project worth about $1.75 billion will keep the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency facility in the city of St. Louis. The NGA already has a massive facility in the area. The new one would serve as its replacement.

The new western campus will be build on the site of the failed Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex which was demolished in the '70s. Missouri donated the land as part of its bid.

Competition for the project was strong. NGA director, Robert Cardillo, said, “The future of our agency and our profession rests on our present talent and that of the next generations we can recruit onto our team. We face tough competition, and offering an environment that appeals to these future generations is critical to our success. Studies point to a desire by today’s millennials to be in urban environments, and this trend is expected to continue.”

Another site under consideration was St. Clair County, Illinois, where officials had hoped the presence of Scott Air Force Base would help lure the massive federal project, while also shoring up the air base in future rounds of government cutbacks and transfers.

The NGA is part of the Department of Defense and works with the CIA and the Air Force to provide intelligence that is largely geographical in nature. 

Established in 1996, the agency was known as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency until 2003. It provides geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT to the Pentagon and the intelligence community. NGA also provides combat support, mapping and satellite imagery.

Its main headquarters are in Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

According to the NGA, “anyone who sails a U.S. ship, flies a U.S. aircraft, makes national policy decisions, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on NGA.”