Houston Astros, Washington Nationals win site-plan approval for WPB spring training complex

WPB STADIUM WESTThe West Palm Beach City Commission tonight unanimously approved the site plan for the $135 million spring training complex that will be shared by the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

The commission also agreed to remove three conditions that city staff had wanted from the teams: pedestrian lighting on Haverhill Road, an annual study for the need of a traffic light on Haverhill and withholding the stadium’s certificate of occupancy until two new bus shelters are installed on Military Trail.

Tom McNicholas, a representative for the teams, told the city commission the teams could not accept the conditions that city staff wanted.

He said it will cost the teams $20 million to clear and prepare the 160-acre site, a former landfill south of 45th Street between Haverhill Road and Military Trail.

“When we tell you we are having budget issues and we are running into problems, we really mean it,’’ he said.

City Commissioner Keith James apologized for using a football metaphor to urge his colleagues to approve the project without the conditions.

We are right at the goal line. I don’t want to fumble the ball before cross and score,” said James, whose district includes the ballpark. 

Next up: The Palm Beach County Commission on Sept. 22 will consider voting to issue construction bonds.

The teams hope to break ground next month and open the facility by January 2017.


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