Mark Byrnes is a former senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
It's surely just as well.
"Can't there be one destination that has all we desire?"
For Syracuse, that answer seems to be 'no.'
Destiny USA, the city's long-anticipated megaproject, has reached its "final phase," meaning it will end up as a tax-exempt mall expansion instead of a Dubai-worthy urban development plan for the small city in upstate New York.
Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner announced today that Pyramid Companies (owner and developer of Destiny) informed the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency that it would proceed with a drastically less ambitious expansion of the 22-year old Carousel Mall than originally planned. An agreement made before Miner's time in office still allows the site to pay no taxes or payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) until 2037, costing the city approximately $17 million a year.
While a new facility with more shopping and dining options inside one of the country's largest malls is good for its visitors, it doesn't quite reach its original dreams. Some of the things it will turn out not to include after all:
* A 65-acre enclosed park
*The "world's largest marine life experience"
*One of the nation's largest sports and recreation complexes
*A 6-story rock and ice climbing wall
*An indoor, 15,000 seat amphitheater
*An indoor wintergarden
*An Erie Canal experience center
*4,000 hotel rooms
*A 47-floor tower
*A "one of a kind," multi-million dollar tourism center
*A technology park
Mayor Miner said that Destiny is welcome to continue developing the site but will no longer have access to public funding. Based on the hardly believable vision seen in the above video and many years of inertia and financial complications, it's safe to say that there won't be much more to Destiny than what's already there.