The opening of the Nova Centre in downtown Halifax has been delayed, again.
The $500-million project was originally supposed to open its doors in early 2016 but that deadline was pushed back to this fall.
On Friday, Argyle Developments confirmed the opening for the Nova Centre has now been delayed to December 2017.
“The delay means we’re behind for a few months but on a job of this magnitude and this complexity, you know, there’s always challenges you have to deal with,” said Joe Ramia, president and CEO of Argyle Developments Inc.
WATCH: Small downtown business suffering due to Nova Centre construction
According to the company, the revised construction schedule is the result of design amendments.
“The public engagement process that resulted in a complete redesign of the Nova Centre has made for a better project, however it has also impacted approval processes and the construction timeline,” said Ramia in a release. “We appreciate the community’s continued support and collaboration as we focus all efforts on delivering a state-of-the-art facility to the Halifax Convention Centre.”
The delay has left the World Trade and Convention Centre working to make alternative arrangements for events that were supposed to take place next year at the new facility.
“There were 22 national and international events that are impacted. Currently we’re working with those events to try and relocate them to the existing World Trade and Convention Centre or move them to a future year in the new convention centre,” said Suzanne Fougere, Halifax Convention Centre Corporation.
“The fact that they keep pushing it off is no surprise at all to me,” said Mike Campbell, owner of the Careton Music Bar and Grill, which is directly across the street from the Nova Centre.
The Carleton is one of a number of businesses that have launched a lawsuit against the Nova Centre and HRM due to the ongoing construction. Campbell says his business is down 35 per cent since construction started on the project.
“The decline in business since the project has started in earnest has killed just about everybody on this street,” he said. “If it had opened when it was supposed to in January, this past January, I think everything would have been okay, but nobody’s going to be able to hang on until 2018. That’s crazy talk.”
Ramia says the delay is causing the budget for the Nova Centre to rise but won’t say by how much. Ramia says the cost for the Nova Centre is considered private and a “guaranteed price” so despite any delays, taxpayers don’t need to worry about any of the additional cost.