Judge Allows City to Condemn Land For NGA Project North of Downtown

By on October 12, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  A St. Louis judge ruled Tuesday that the city could condemn 97 acres controlled by its redevelopment arm north of downtown, clearing a potential roadblock to construction of the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency complex.

The ruling is a setback for Paul McKee, whose NorthSide Regeneration development company owned property within the NGA footprint, and McKee’s lender, the Bank of Washington.

“This is what the federal government asked us to do, and it was necessary for us to do this to satisfy their requirements and regulations,” said Jerry Carmody, an attorney with Carmody MacDonald, the law firm that represents the city agency that has assembled the acreage for NGA project.

“This should put to rest any title issues that the federal government would have regarding the site,” he said.

Lawyers representing the city of St. Louis, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority and the Bank of Washington argued in court Tuesday over whether the bank could stand in the way of the city’s ability to condemn its own land before handing it over to the federal government for the $1.7 billion intelligence facility.

St. Louis Deputy Mayor for Development Linda Martinez testified in court that the bank’s involvement could adversely affect the city’s ability to deliver a clean title as it approaches a Nov. 14 deadline to transfer land to the NGA.

Without clean title, the federal project could be in jeopardy, so the city used eminent domain on land already owned by its economic development arm to remove any future claim to it.

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