City officials announced Friday that they had finalized the transfer of 97 acres north of downtown to the federal government for the construction of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's $1.7 billion western headquarters, capping nearly four years of work assembling the site for one of the city's largest economic development projects in decades.
"We're all excited. We are thankful for all the help along the way from both the public and private sector and a great deal of support from the state of Missouri," said St. Louis Development Corp. Director Otis Williams, who shepherded the project for the city first under former Mayor Francis Slay and now Mayor Lyda Krewson. "This was a huge undertaking. It's a sigh of relief to get it all done."
City officials fought hard for years to retain the NGA, which employs some 3,100 people in a facility on the Mississippi riverfront near the Anheuser-Busch brewery. Friday's announcement is a major milestone in a project that even as recently as this summer appeared potentially at risk.