Promise of new jobs highlights AgTech district planned for St. Louis County

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)--Plans for a new agriculture technology district in St. Louis County were unveiled Wednesday. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger says the goal of the project is to build off an existing strength and bring new ag-tech jobs to area.

"Very exciting. Very exciting day for St. Louis, St. Louis County, and the whole region." said St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

Stenger`s excitement is tied to 39 North, an AgTech innovation district that will stretch 600 acres from Bauer Boulevard to the north, the edge of Monsanto`s campus to the south, Warson Road to the east, and Old Olive Street Road to the west.

"This is going to give us a space where collaboration can take place in the AG Tech industry," added Stenger.

Anchored by Monsanto, the Danforth Plant Science Center, Bio Research and Development Growth Park, and the Helix Center Biotech Incubator; Stenger believes 39 North will do more than provide a place to research plants, animals, and farming technology. He wants to grow jobs.

"They are jobs that are very well paying jobs and careers that will be a tremendous addition to our economy in St. Louis County," said Stenger.

The early stages of the project are being funded by a $500,000 federal planning grant. A $400,000 grant from Great Rivers Greenway will be used to design a greenway connecting Monsanto to the Helix Center.

"It will also be a district that people will want to live in and join those that work here," said Shelia Sweeney, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

39 North will one day feature mixed retail, residential and office space connected by walking and biking trails and green space. A master plan will be completed this month.