The developer of the Nova Centre - the complex that will include the new convention centre in downtown Halifax – has released a final design of what the facility look like.

“That’s the image that came from the 12 public consultation sessions that we had. That’s what the people wanted us to show,” says Joe Ramia.

Ramia says the centre, which boasts a hotel as well as retail and residential space, will be one million square feet. That number is 20 per cent smaller than the original concept due to a major change in the $163-million convention centre.

“Initially, the main ballroom was below ground, so now, we’ve lifted it above ground,” says Ramia.

He explained there is a nautical symbolism that comes from what he heard during the consultation sessions - a future with a tie to the past.

“The convention centre shows the water and the tower above it shows the ship moving toward, crossing the water, moving toward the future.”

Now that excavation is nearing completion and the design of the buildings is complete, Ramia wants to get started on construction.

He says he would like to start pouring concrete in the next few weeks and erect the tower cranes after that.

“That’s why we’re asking HRM and the province to kind of help us by allowing us to pour footings and foundations while we go through the HRM by Design process,” says Ramia.

An earlier design of the Nova Centre was approved but the new design needs to be approved after changes were made stemming from the public consultation sessions.

The issue goes before Halifax Regional Council next week.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant