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Spy Agency Did Not Flub In Picking North St. Louis For New Western HQ


A report by the Government Accountability Office found the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency met proper federal guidelines in choosing north St. Louis as the site for a new Western headquarters. Officials from Illinois, which had also been in the running for the HQ, had questioned the NGA decision, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The NGA's primary mission is collecting, analyzing and distributing geospatial intelligence — maps and surface images — to the U.S. military and intelligence communities. Its 2.3M SF HQ is at Fort Belvoir in Springfield, Virginia. 

The agency is in the process of replacing its aging Western HQ, ultimately choosing north St. Louis out of 186 potential sites in the region. The NGA plans to start construction in the summer of 2019, with a design-build contract process wrapping up earlier that year.

The GAO report said security near Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois, would be better than at the north St. Louis site, but other factors — such as cost, “mission efficiency and flexibility,” local laws and regulations and environmental impact — favored St. Louis.