Creve Coeur, Missouri-based bioscience and sustainable agriculture company Monsanto (NYSE: MON) announced that it is planning to consolidate its St. Louis-based R&D operations onto a single campus, which will require a $400 million expansion of its Chesterfield research facility.
The expansion will create 675 new high-paying jobs, in addition to 700 construction jobs. The 1.5 million-square-foot Chesterfield Village Research Center already has 1,000 employees.
Apart from the new research building, the expansion also involves the construction of 250 laboratories and 36 greenhouses, in addition to other plant growth chambers that can be set to climates from different parts of the world.
The existing site already has 250 labs, greenhouses over two acres, and 122 plant growth chambers. Once this expansion is complete, labs currently located in the headquarters in Creve Coeur will be moved to Chesterfield, freeing up more space for other uses.
The building, which is expected to be LEED certified, should be complete and ready for occupation by 2017.
Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement that the major investment by Monsanto and the hundreds of high-tech and high-paying jobs further establishes Missouri as a powerhouse in the biotech sector.
Jerry Steiner, executive vice president, sustainability and corporate affairs at Monsanto, said the expansion ensures that the company’s researchers would have the facilities required to come up with the next generation of agricultural products.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Doole said that Monsanto had turned into a magnet for attracting some of the world’s leading scientists to the region, and this new expansion would have a huge impact on the local economy.
Monsanto considered other locations, but their long relationship with the state (founded in St. Louis in 1901) coupled with the county’s plan to provide $22 million in tax breaks for Monsanto sealed the deal.
The Missouri Development Finance Board has been asked to provide Build Missouri bonds worth $9.5 million, and the company also qualifies for $22 million in tax credits under the Quality Jobs program.
Monsanto generated $13.5 billion in revenues last year, and the company has around 22,000 employees all over the world.