It’s official: Halifax’s new world trade and convention centre is set to be built on the site of the former Halifax Herald building.
Yesterday, the province confirmed rumours that Rank Group, which proposes using its Argyle Street property, beat out the Hardman Group, which wanted to redevelop the Cogswell Interchange.
Premier Rodney MacDonald said the new centre would mean big money for Halifax. “It will be very beneficial to the province as a whole, and that’s not even taking into account the economic spinoff from construction.”
He said there was a ceiling as to how much the taxpayer will contribute, but wouldn’t put a dollar figure on it. Mayor Peter Kelly likewise supported the decision, but the Hardman Group said it was a missed opportunity.
“The Cogswell proposal for a new World Trade and Convention Centre would have been the better option,” said vice-president Colin Whitcomb. “The Cogswell Interchange ties up 16.5 acres of public lands and a new centre was the impetus needed to remove the interchange and reclaim the lands.”
The new convention centre will be located in downtown Halifax, with 150,000 square feet of meeting space. The Rank Group will now submit a detailed proposal and cost estimate.