Astros name architect for new Spring Training home

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros general counsel Giles Kibbe said Thursday the team, the Nationals and Palm Beach County have selected HKS Architect, led by Mo Stein, to design the new two-team Spring Training facility they hope to open in 2017.

HKS designed two of the premier facilities in the Cactus League -- Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz., which is home to the D-backs and Rockies, and Camelback Ranch in Glendale, shared by the Dodgers and White Sox.

"This is a great group," Kibbe said. "They've built the best Spring Training facilities and we're comfortable with that decision."

The selection was made Wednesday in West Palm Beach, Fla., and HKS toured the Astros' Spring Training facility at Osceola County on Thursday.

"We're trying to figure out what works, what doesn't work, what kind of flow we want," Kibbe said. "We're going to a much bigger clubhouse, but we're still trying to get everything in the right spacing."

Environmental work on the site should begin in the next 30 to 60 days, and the official groundbreaking on the $135 million facility -- to be built on 160 acres between Haverhill Road and Military Trail, about two miles west of I-95 -- would take place in the fall.

Kibbe said the Astros hope to be able to move into the new facility by January 2017, leaving them with two more years at Osceola County Stadium. The Astros have called Kissimmee their spring home since moving from Cocoa Beach, Fla., in 1985.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.