Massive Monsanto Expansion in St. Louis Suburbs has Urbanists Asking, “Why not downtown?”

Midwest
Thursday, April 25, 2013
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Cannon Design's life sciences research center for agribusiness giant Monsanto in Chesterfield, Missouri. (Courtesy Cannon Design)

Cannon Design’s life sciences research center for agribusiness giant Monsanto in Chesterfield, Missouri. (Courtesy Cannon Design)

Agribusiness titan Monsanto has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades to its research facility outside St. Louis, and design details are starting to pop up. Cannon Design will plan, design and engineer a new 400,000 square foot center for life sciences research.

(Courtesy Monsanto / Cannon Design)

(Courtesy Monsanto / Cannon Design)

The expansion will bring 675 new employees to Chesterfield, on the western fringe of the St. Louis metropolitan area. Those jobs will be mainly high-paying research positions, encouraging for suburban Chesterfield after tax revenue sagged following 2009 layoffs at Pfizer, another major tenant of the business complex.

But, as NextSTL points out, some urbanists would rather see such development closer to the urban core—namely in the CORTEX bioscience district in the city’s Central West End neighborhood. CORTEX would turn an old telephone factory and other industrial buildings into a biotech business district along Duncan Avenue.

(Courtesy Monsanto / Cannon Design)

(Courtesy Monsanto / Cannon Design)

(Courtesy Monsanto / Cannon Design)

(Courtesy Monsanto / Cannon Design)

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