Section of Halifax’s Nova Centre on track to open by December
Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 8:43PM ADT
It’s been nearly five years since ground was broken on the Nova Centre, and the area still very much looks like a construction site.
But that's going to change in a matter of months.
“We're opening in December and we'll begin hosting those events in January,” Halifax Convention Centre president and CEO Carrie Cussons says.
More than 100 events have been booked at the Halifax Convention Centre in 2018, bringing an estimated $30,000 people from outside the province.
The centre is now launching a project to highlight local food and drink.
“All with the goal of getting people out into the streets of Halifax and into the places in Nova Scotia,” Cussons says.
But it's not entirely clear what else will greet visitors when they arrive. The Nova Centre includes a financial tower, retail space and a hotel. So far, few announcements have been made about what else will fill the 1 million square feet of space.
The developer says the Nova Centre will be substantially complete in December, with work ongoing inside as tenants move in.
“Clearly from a safety perspective, from an aesthetic perspective, and from a function perspective we've got to have this as close as possible to 100 per cent when the doors open,” says Nova Scotia Business Minister Geoff MacLellan.
The convention centre is the publicly-funded portion of this project. The three levels of government have invested $162.9 million. The rest is the responsibility of the developers.
Still, Opposition Leader Jamie Baillie says Nova Scotians should be hearing from government about how the entire project is going.
“It's a big investment of taxpayer dollars. It's a big addition to downtown halifax. A lot of local businesses have suffered during the construction,” says Baillie.
Developer Joe Ramia tells CTV News the Nova Centre is more than 70 per cent occupied, and that he's happy with where they are. He says to expect several major tenants – including the hotel – to make announcements this fall.
The convention centre's official opening date will be announced in the next few weeks. The streetscaping project on Argyle Street is supposed to wrap up in early November.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.