The province has announced the signing of a 25-year deal with the builders of the Nova Centre and has put the old World Trade and Convention Centre up for sale for $13.5 million.

The Nova Centre, which has been taking shape over two city blocks in the heart of downtown, is scheduled to open sometime next year.

The agreement with the Nova Centre's developers is for the design, construction and lease of the convention space in a building, which will also include a luxury hotel, condos and office space.

The deal calls for $10 million in upgrades to the Nova Centre. That amount is to be cost-shared between the province, the city and the developer, with the developer covering 50 per cent.

The upgrades the province is demanding includes LED lighting, complete card access and advanced IT and audio-visual systems. The province estimates the LED lights will bring $400,000 in cost savings.

City gets first dibs on WTCC

On the flipside, the city is being given 90 days to decide whether it wants to purchase the World Trade and Convention Centre, which has been a fixture on Argyle Street across from City Hall since 1984.

A spokesperson for the city says it will use the three-month timeline to weigh its options.

If the city decides not to buy the WTCC, it will be offered for sale on the open market. If another buyer is found, the city will then have 30 days to decide whether it wants to match that buyer's price and take ownership of the building.

A spokesperson for the province said any buyer would have to enter into an agreement over infrastructure facilities the WTCC shares with its next-door neighbour, the Scotiabank Centre.

Finally, if no buyer is found, the city will purchase the WTCC on the day the convention centre in Nova Centre opens. The price on that day will be the book value for the building.