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Regional Council approves agreement with province to
move ahead with convention centre
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 (Halifax, NS) - Halifax Regional Council today approved a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Province of Nova Scotia to finance, construct and operate a new downtown convention centre.
The $164.2 million convention facility, to be cost-shared by three levels of government, will be part of a larger project to be known as Nova Centre to be developed by Rank Inc. The project includes a hotel, office tower, retail shops and restaurant space.
“This is a proud moment for our municipality,” said Mayor Peter Kelly. “We’ve been waiting a long time to get all of the elements ready and it’s time to take the next step forward in getting this project started. Everyone who calls our municipality home has a stake in the success of this convention centre.”
Today’s decision fulfils Council’s direction from the December 13, 2010 motion to come back to Council for approval of a final agreement with the province pending the federal government’s commitment to provide one-third of the project’s eligible capital costs. Highlights of the MOA include:
• Cost-sharing of the convention centre by the three levels of government with HRM and the province contributing ($56.4 million each) through a 25-year lease agreement that reflects construction, maintenance and operational costs
• HRM will purchase the existing World Trade and Convention Centre for its book value should the Province not succeed in selling it for more before the new convention centre opens
• HRM will contribute $40,000 toward the external marketing of the new facility
• HRM will fund its commitment to the project by directing property tax revenues from the site (including a hotel, office tower, retail, restaurant, and parking space) to pay for HRM’s approximately $6 million annual commitment for construction, operations and maintenance
• While the municipality’s first lease payment would not be due until the centre’s expected opening in January 2016, the money from the sites taxes are already accruing to a reserve fund to cover initial payments
• HRM and the Province share responsibility for underwriting any annual deficit incurred in the operations of the convention centre
• Property taxes on the convention centre will be a shared responsibility between the Province and HRM
“This is a terrific investment, not only for our downtown and municipality, but for the province as well, which will all benefit from the economic spin-offs of a revitalized urban core,” said Mayor Kelly.
The full staff report can be found at
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Mayor Peter Kelly