Next NGA: ‘We Have to Get Diversity Right This Time’

By on January 12, 2018

by Tom Finan, Executive Director, Construction Forum STL

“We have to get diversity right this time.”

That message, from Yaphett El-Amin, executive director of MOKAN, was delivered to an audience of contractors, suppliers, city officials, and residents of the area affected by the Next NGA project. If the temperature of discourse  in the room at a “Next NGA West Construction Town Hall Meeting” held at the St. Louis Community College William J. Harrison Education Center on Cass Avenue was any indication, the Next NGA West team is sparing no effort to make sure that that happens.

MOKAN organized the program in cooperation with the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC), represented by Otis Williams, director; Next NGA West, represented by Thomas Bukoski, deputy program director; and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, represented by Stephanie Hall, program manager, Next NGA West. Howard Hayes, director of SLDC M/WBE business development and compliance served as moderator.

Following the presentation and question and answer period an informal networking session was held, during which W/MBEs were encouraged to meet with the three Next NGA finalist teams — MCCARTHY/HITT, Mortensen Alberici JV, and Clark-JE Dunn N2W, a Joint Venture.

“For NGA to revitalize, it must be reflective of the community in which it sits,” El-Amin said. In his remarks Williams acknowledged that some missteps had been made in the early going by not engaging effectively engaging the community in the project site. Those bumps have been overcome, Williams said. He said that some individuals or organizations will always have issues — as occurred when some questioned site remediation and soil testing results. But Williams indicated that the City, NGA, and the Corps of Engineers are committed to transparency and communication.

Here is a  link to the presentations from the Town Hall Meeting

The phase of the project that has been largely completed is the assembly of all of the parcels of land on the site into a single parcel, demolition, environment testing and remediation and street and utility relocation. This allows the City to turn the project site over to the Air Force, which is the owner of NGA West.

The City has committed to and has funding for street improvement in the project vicinity, including a major remake of the I64/40 interchange at Jefferson Avenue. Williams also noted that Paul McKee’s Northside Regeneration has just finalized financing for a gas station and grocery store in the area. Other projects being considered include housing, a medical center, and commercial development.

Small Business opportunities for design/build NGA construction project are:

  • Small Business 28%
  • Small Disadvantaged Business 5%
  • Woman Owned Small Business 5%
  • HUB Zone 2%
  • Service Disabled Veteran Owned 5B 2%
  • Veteran Owned Small Business 3%

Phase 2 Design/Build Competition Proposals Encompass:

  • Main Operations Building  712,800 SF
  • Central Utility Plant  35,000 SF
  • Visitor Control Center 7,300 SF
  • Parking Garages 992, 250 SF

Plus  site improvements including roads, perimeter security, utilities, etc.

Phase 2 Small Business Set Asides include:

  • Remote Inspection Facility 9,000 SF
  • VCC Parking  175,000 SF
  • 2 Access Control Points
  • Landscaping
  • Temporary Integrated Project Office


About Tom Finan