The developer behind Halifax's new convention centre has released new design plans for the complex.

About 250 people came out to a public meeting in Halifax on Wednesday night to get a look at the future Nova Centre. The Argyle Street complex is expected to open in January 2016. It's being developed by Rank Inc.

Nova Centre includes space for a convention centre, a hotel and office towers that will cover two city blocks and stretch 18 stories high.

Joe Ramia of Rank Inc. won't say what the price tag is at now, only that it will be more than $500 million. The change in price doesn't affect the taxpayer funded portion.

Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality have committed $56 million each towards the project, while the federal government is putting in another $51 million.

Many changes

"It's been challenging, but fruitful, and we have a better building," said Ramia.

Initially, the convention centre was going to be underground. After the public consultation, it's now two-storeys above ground.

The parking garage entrance is now planned for Grafton Street, as is the entrance for the hotel. The underground parking will have 400 spaces.

The convention centre has gone through several hurdles before finally becoming a reality earlier this year. Excavation has begun on Argyle Street, but construction is not expected to begin until the summer of 2013.

The final design still has to be sent to Halifax's planning department for approval and a building permit.