Nova Centre reaches deal with BMO for office space

The Nova Centre has a planned opening date for the fall of 2016, just in time for its first major financial tenant to set up shop there.

Nova Centre's north tower to house banks, insurance companies, legal and accounting firms

BMO Financial Group is moving its Atlantic Canadian headquarters into the Nova Centre in Halifax. (CBC)

The Nova Centre has a planned opening date for the fall of 2016, just in time for its first major financial tenant to set up shop there.

The opening date for the convention centre and commercial complex had been pushed back until the end of September.

BMO Financial Group will occupy two floors of the centre's north tower and a ground-floor location.

BMO announced Friday it will relocate its Atlantic Canadian headquarters and support services, as well as its main bank site to the downtown Halifax complex.

As a result of a 10-year lease agreement, the office tower at Nova Centre will be branded as the BMO Tower. (Nova Centre)

BMO's main Halifax branch will be located on the main floor and is scheduled to open in December 2016.

BMO Nesbitt Burns and BMO's private banking, as well as personal and commercial banking operations and services are expected to move into the centre in March 2017.

 Setting up shop at the Nova Centre is a natural fit as the building will be iconic and important for the local economy, said Carolyn Booth, BMO's senior vice-president for the Atlantic provinces.

"It'll be a real economic hub for Halifax," she said. 

The move will consolidate all of BMO's lines of business under one roof. About 200 employees will work there.

The bank will occupy about 36,000 square feet of office space, plus the 4,200-square foot retail branch that will be located off a major entrance to the complex, the company said in a news release.

The deal also involves naming rights to the office tower at the Nova Centre, which will be known as the BMO Tower. The tower will house banks, insurance companies, wealth management, legal and accounting firms.

When the Nova Centre is complete, it is aiming for LEED Gold certification — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

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