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Costs for new WPB spring complex rise; teams will pay

New West Palm Beach spring training complex

The cost of a new Palm Beach County spring-training complex for the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals rises to $144.1 million, but the teams will cover overruns, with site prep work potentially beginning shortly.

The teams are contractually obligated to cover cost overruns on the project past $135 million. The total cost of the project (sans financing costs) is $144.1 million, $9 million more than originally estimated. That means the teams will be covering the $9 million. From the Palm Beach Post:

“We’re having to come out of pocket,’’ said Giles Kibbe, general counsel for the Astros, who attributed some of the increased costs to higher-than-expected construction bids and land-preparation costs.

The rising costs are not a big surprise since the teams told the West Palm Beach City Commission last month that they were having budget issues. The teams are responsible for all cost overruns exceeding $135 million.

“It’s not something we’re excited about,” Kibbe said. “But we want this place to be something the county is proud of and is good for both teams, so it is costing us a little extra.’’

Bonds for the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches project are expected to be issued next week, but in the meantime the Astros and Nationals want to move ahead on site preparation once Palm Beach County is control of the land parcel. There still are some other loose ends — for instance, the state still must provide a letter confirming its funding contribution of $50 million — but the teams and architect HKS are eager to get things rolling.

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