Construction of the hotel above the convention centre is nowhere near completion, and an operator of the hotel has not been announced. Photo: Halifax Examiner
Construction of the hotel above the convention centre is nowhere near completion, and an operator of the hotel has not been announced. Photo: Halifax Examiner

The Halifax Convention Centre will not open as scheduled on April 1. A new opening date has not yet been established, but at least seven national and international conventions that have been booked into the convention centre are affected — Trade Centre Limited representatives are working for alternative arrangements, including rebooking the conventions into the existing convention centre.

Completion of the convention centre was delayed once before. In December 2014, developer Joe Ramia announced that the scheduled January 1, 2016 “substantial completion” date of Nova Centre would be pushed back to September 30, 2016, with the convention centre component ready by January 1, 2017. That date was subsequently revised to April 1, 2017.

I walked around the building yesterday and realized that with winter weather approaching and much of the exterior of the building still open to the elements, there is no way construction could be finished by April.

Besides the convention centre, the hotel component of Nova Centre is also behind schedule. An operator of the hotel still hasn’t been announced, and it strikes me as unlikely that an operator could agree to a lease and get the hotel operational in less than six months.

I’ve asked Trade Centre Limited for comment, and will speak with councillors and city staff at today’s city council meeting.

More to come.

Updated, 11:50am:

I’ve received the following response from TCL spokesperson Suzanne Fougere:

Based on the information we have, and in the interest of ensuring those impacted have appropriate notice, we have begun discussions with national and international clients booked in the new convention centre in the spring. We’ve started working with them on alternatives, which includes relocating them to the existing WTCC if they choose. There are a total of seven national and international events (April-June) that are directly impacted. Steps are underway to get confirmation of the construction timeline from the developer.

As it relates to the hotel partner, we look forward to that announcement from the developer once those details are finalized.

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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  1. I’d wager that Ramia had as much success at strong arming the general contractor and suppliers as does SMU football when they play in Upper Canada.

  2. I wonder what the excuse will be this time, and it can’t be labour issues – there are literally 100’s of unemployed tradesmen in HRM, courtesy of the melt-down in the Alberta oil patch.

  3. Are there any fines related to missing yet another completion date? I’m assuming we will get some more innovative world class bullshit about this but I would like to see some actual penalties applied.