The deal, called the Future Assurances Agreement, is rooted in the city’s effort to keep the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The spy agency, which employs more than 3,000 people at its western headquarters in Soulard, was considering two sites for its new $1.75-billion facility: land near Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and a location on the city’s north side at Jefferson and Cass avenues.
Federal officials ultimately chose the northside location, which meant the city had to get control of nearly 100 acres of land. McKee owned about 60 percent of the properties in the NGA’s new footprint.
More: How accountability measures in St. Louis’ deals with McKee panned out
In early 2016, officials signed a complicated series of deals to purchase the land they needed from McKee. (The transactions were outlined in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigation that also showed how deeply in debt McKee was.) The Future Assurances Agreement between McKee, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority and a separate nonprofit holding company set up to purchase the land needed for the NGA site was one of several individual parts of that deal.