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Plans for the convention centre complex. (Rank Inc.)

Halifax regional council has voted to proceed with a new convention centre complex in the city's downtown, voting 19 to 5 in favour of the agreement with the province over the financing, moving the project to the next stage.

In addition to the convention centre, the developer plans to build an office tower and a hotel.

Previously the province asked the city for a contribution toward a new marketing campaign to promote the complex.

The city approved an amendment to take its $40,000 marketing share from a hotel levy.

Some councillors say the construction will give the downtown a significant economic boost.

"At least we can see some good development downtown. We're going to build something, going to bring people in. We're going to fill the hotels. Trade centres is something that doesn't make money. What makes money is what we make off the office towers, the hotels and bringing people into the city," said Counc. Jerry Blumenthal.

However, Counc. Peter Lund said he is not convinced.

"I wish I could feel really, really good about this, but I'm not sure I actually do. What happens with the 'what ifs?' What if certain things happen? For instance, did we look at a risk scenario of a declining convention business scenario?" he said.

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

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

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