Monsanto Company plans to bring together its research and development team on one campus when it completes a more than $400 million expansion at its Chesterfield Village Research Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The company said it plans to begin work this summer and expects to add 675 jobs across St. Louis County over the next three years.
As part of its expansion, Monsanto plans to add 36 new greenhouses, additional offices and laboratory space as well as additional plant growth chambers to facilitate development of its seed and trait pipeline. Greenhouses and plant growth chambers, which can be programmed to represent any climate around the world, are a critical component of Monsanto's research work as they offer Monsanto scientists an opportunity to observe and select only the best performing seeds for in-ground testing.
"Our Chesterfield Village Research Center is already a world-class facility, and with our planned new investment, will truly be a home worthy of what I believe is the most innovative team in agriculture," said Robb Fraley, Ph.D., Monsanto's chief technology officer. "Monsanto has pledged to help those in agriculture find new ways to produce more while using less of our globe's resources."
Monsanto's proposed expansion will enable greater collaboration between researchers, as they work to develop new systems of technologies to make agriculture more productive and more sustainable.
Monsanto currently has approximately 1,000 employees at its Chesterfield site, which could have the capacity to house 2,000 local technology employees once the project is complete. The site comprises 1.5 million-square-feet and includes approximately 250 laboratories, 122 plant growth chambers and two acres of greenhouses. In addition to the new office and research space, the company plans to add a new cafeteria for employees, a conference center and a parking structure.
The expansion is being made possible with the support of the State of Missouri and St. Louis County. "In Missouri, we take great pride in our state's status as a leader in the biotechnology industry, and Monsanto's $400 million expansion in St. Louis will accelerate our state's continued growth in this area," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said. "One of the fastest-growing sectors of Missouri's economy is in science and technology, and I remain committed to embracing these industries to transform our economy and create next-generation jobs. Monsanto's major investment in the state of Missouri, which will create hundreds of high-tech, high-paying jobs while also boosting our construction industry, further establishes the Show-Me State as a biotech powerhouse."
Monsanto's commercial and corporate teams will continue to occupy the company's Creve Coeur campus, which also currently houses lab spaces. Once employees are transferred to Chesterfield, those lab spaces may be converted to other uses, Fraley said. Construction is expected to be completed in 2017, and teams will begin moving to the Chesterfield site in phases beginning at that time.