After months of delay, the provincial government says the developer, Rank Inc., is now ready to break ground. (Rank Inc.)

An opening date has been set for the new trade and convention centre in downtown Halifax, according to a memorandum of agreement between the city and the province.

The Argyle Street complex is expected to open in January 2016.

The Halifax Regional Municipality is set to approve an agreement with the province that could see construction start on the new convention center, hotel and office tower later this year.

After months of delays the price of the $164 million project has increased by $5 million, but the federal government is covering the added cost.

The city and province will cost-share the convention center lease, with an option to buy the building for $1 after 25 years. 

Some of the money for the centre will come from new property taxes generated by an 18 story hotel, an office tower, and stores that are part of the larger complex located on two city blocks.

But if those buildings are not finished when the convention center opens, the city can defer part of its annual payment for 10 years.

Developer Joe Ramia is also offering $5 million worth of credit that can be drawn upon.

The province has asked the municipality for a $40,000 contribution toward a new marketing campaign to promote the complex.