Some residents worry the new NGA campus north of St. Louis will push them out

ST. LOUIS – For decades, areas north of St. Louis is already underdeveloped, and the nearly $2 billion government-funded development could change the landscape.

“Northern City is the last frontier of opportunity for this city,” said Lance Knuckles, director of growth and development strategy at the St. Louis said.

The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s West Facility is the economic engine that will bring thousands of new jobs, businesses, and residents to the JeffVanderLou Residence, Old North St. Louis and Hyde Park.

“For me, it was a stroke of luck. So lucky to be able to stay in one place for so long,” said Shirley Cooper.

Coopers has been at her house for almost 35 years and doesn’t want to be pushed out.

“Money splash. It’s about the money, and the people that are trying to get in, they make more money than we do,” Cooper said.

Knuckles said Project Connect is focused on keeping residents like Cooper in their homes. Meetings are being held and a plan is in place.

Pastor Andre Logan of Thessalonian Baptist Church is leading Project 180 STL, in partnership with the National Development Council on an affordable housing project.

“You just have to hope that something changes because they have a reason not to believe what city officials say. They were around and they heard it,” Logan said.

Logan said JeffVanderLou Neighborhood makes sense.

“It was one of the first communities in St. Louis, where blacks could own their own homes. If we weren’t careful, because we’ve seen it happen before, evolution could have taken place,” says Logan.

City of St. Louis Alderman Brandon Bosley said he knows people from the outside will look to buy occupied apartments with all cash. Bosley told them now was not the time to sell.

“You have 3,000 square feet of bricks? Quit the game because you can’t bring that house to New York and sell it for less than $10 million. This is the test area, billions of dollars. It’s time for all of us to become millionaires. It’s time for our people to be the ones who don’t,” Bosley said.

Knuckles added: “I know we have the right spirit in this city to do that. The problem is that we all forget our own egos and come to the table to talk. We won’t all be the saviors, but we can all do our part to bring this city back to life. ” Some residents worry the new NGA campus north of St. Louis will push them out

Charles Jones

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