This article is 2 years old. It was published on June 23, 2020.
Mayor Lyda Krewson today joined federal and local officials in celebrating the decision by the United States General Services Administration (GSA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to relocate more than 1,000 employees to Downtown St. Louis.
“This is a great day for our City. We are so thrilled to welcome the USDA and its employees to Downtown St. Louis, which is the economic engine for the entire region and a vibrant, centrally located hub for countless tourist attractions and cultural institutions. My thanks to all our federal, state, and local partners for their hard work advocating to keep the USDA where it belongs in the City of St. Louis,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson.
The local USDA bureaus and their employees will be moving to One Metropolitan Square at 211N. Broadway, an anchor of the City’s Central Business District.
This morning, the GSA, whose mission is to acquire space on behalf of other federal government agencies, signed a lease with the owner of the building, 601 Metropolitan Square LLC, for approximately 163,604 of rentable square feet for 20 years at a total contract value of more than $72 million.
The move is expected to have a sizable economic impact on Downtown St. Louis and represents a significant victory in the City’s ongoing economic developments efforts to attract and retain jobs.
“The St. Louis Development Corporation is extremely grateful for this opportunity to continue its relationship with the USDA. They have been a terrific partner over the years, and their decision to relocate downtown rather than move out of the City and St. Louis region speaks volumes.
This builds upon our goal of retaining major businesses and government agencies in the City of St. Louis,” said Otis Williams, Executive Director, SLDC.
“The St. Louis business community has meticulously laid the groundwork for the next decade of Downtown and beyond, and adding 1,000 jobs from the USDA reflects that hard work,” added Missy Kelley, CEO of Downtown STL, Inc. “Job growth of this scale will have a meaningful impact on our restaurants, hotels, attractions, and the Downtown residential neighborhood.”
The local USDA bureaus that will be relocating, including the Rural Housing Service, are currently operating out of the Goodfellow Federal Center, which was originally built in 1941 by the U.S. Department of Defense. In 1966, the U.S. Army transferred ownership and operation of 62.5-acre, 23 building campus to the GSA, which then renovated it into a suburban office park.
USDA’s Rural Housing Service specializes in a variety of programs designed to build or improve housing and essential community facilities in rural areas across the country. The agency offers loans, grants, and loan guarantees for single and multi-family housing, childcare centers, fire and police stations, hospitals, libraries, nursing homes, schools, first responder vehicles and equipment, housing for farm laborers, and more.
It has been a longstanding commitment of members of the City’s federal congressional delegation to seek a new location for the local USDA bureaus, co-located agencies, and their employees due to environmental and health concerns.
“No one should have to choose between serving their country or sacrificing their health. Since I became aware of the obvious unabated environmental hazards at this site and the terrible healthcare toll this has inflicted on so many federal employees, my goal was to first get these dedicated workers out of harm’s way, and then if possible, retain these good federal jobs for St. Louis. Today’s announcement by the GSA achieves both of those goals,” said U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO).
“This decision will benefit U.S. Department of Agriculture employees while keeping them close to the customers and communities they serve. I was proud to partner with my congressional colleagues in advocating for this relocation and will continue working with local, state, and federal stakeholders as we move forward,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).
“Conditions at the Goodfellow Complex are unacceptable. I’m heartened to see the USDA follow through on their commitment to me to relocate employees from the Goodfellow Complex to a safer facility in Downtown St. Louis,” said U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO).
Once the move is complete, the local USDA bureaus will continue to provide support to their current regional and national clients and supported organizations. Some co-located agencies and their employees will also be relocating downtown while others move to different locations in the City and region.
Office of the Mayor
St. Louis Development Corporation