News / Halifax

'It happens on every building:' Halifax developer says proposed Nova Centre changes 'minor'

The municipality is unaware of the specifics of the proposed changes, but Joe Ramia says they're "nothing that will make that much of a change to the building.”

Workers can be seen installing glass on the Nova Centre project on Monday.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Workers can be seen installing glass on the Nova Centre project on Monday.

The developer of the Nova Centre says the changes he’s asking to make to the building’s design are “minor.”

According to an information report coming to the design review committee on Thursday, Joe Ramia, the owner of the company developing the Nova Centre, is asking to make changes to “some elements of the exterior design of the building, particularly with regard to the Market Street elevation and the exterior materials of the base of the building and the tower at the corner of Sackville and Market streets.”

Those changes mean Ramia will have to notify the public, and submit a new substantive site plan approval application.

“I’m not sure how it built up that everybody’s now writing about it, but they’re minor changes,” Ramia said Monday.

“It happens on every building.”

Ramia said the changes to the design on Market Street will affect a loading zone on that side of the building, and some mechanical systems for the kitchen space.

On the tower at the corner of Sackville and Market Streets, the current plan has a mixture of glass and spandrel glass, which is opaque. Ramia hopes to replace that spandrel glass with brick -- something he said the design review committee asked for the last time he was there.

“That’s the type of change we’re talking about,” he said.

“It’s nothing that will make that much of a change to the building.”

An update on the Nova Centre’s website says the structure of the building was finished in January, and the mixed convention centre-office-retail-hotel structure has reached its full height.

The convention centre portion of the Nova Centre is scheduled to open at the end of September, and the whole building is supposed to open next January, but Ramia said Monday those dates aren’t set in stone.

“I don’t know yet. We haven’t finalized those dates,” he said. “But these changes will not have any effect on what we’re doing.”

Ramia said the changes have yet to be finalized, so he won’t be making a presentation to the committee on Thursday.

“We will have an information session for the public, and then we will present to the design review committee,” he said.

Municipal spokesperson Jennifer Stairs said on Monday that the municipality is unaware of the specifics of the proposed changes.

“At this point all we know is that this information report is coming forward on Thursday,” she said.

Some of what Ramia says is changing:

·      Opaque glass at the top of the tower would be replaced by brick

·      The loading area off Market Street

·      Ventilation and mechanical systems in the kitchen