Mall expansion deadline looming, SIDA talking with developers

6:00pm Update-

Crews are back at work on the Carousel Center expansion but the City of Syracuse has warned developers at the Pyramid Companies it could be too little, too late. Last month the city sent Pyramid a letter warning them that the mall expansion needs to be finished by this coming Sunday at midnight or the agreement that gives the project tax breaks would end.

The original agreement between Syracuse and Pyramid said that work on the first phase of the mall expansion would be completed by August 2009 and work on the second phase would begin or the city could pull the projects tax breaks. The city has given Pyramid extensions on the original agreement agreement after Citigroup stopped providing financing. When Pyramid and Citigroup announced in March they had settled their lawsuits - the city said the extensions needed to end.

"That began the 87 day clock once the agreement was signed. So 87 days to complete - if it's not complete we have the right to exercise a bunch of different options," said Syracuse Industrial Development Authority Chairman Bill Ryan.

In a letter to the City of Syracuse, Pyramid partner Bruce Keenan says the "unavoidable delays" that necessitated the extension are still going on since Citigroup is still not fully financing the expansion. Keenan says pyramid is making "aggressive efforts to secure external financing" and "the impact of that unavoidable delay continues despite PCO's (Pyramid Companies) diligent and ongoing mitigation efforts."

Ryan says he's getting tired of waiting.

"This community I believe is owed something and as we move forward we have tried to be cooperative," said Ryan. "The conversations have been good, our attorneys speak to their attorneys but for us to just say fine, time marches on - it's not going to happen."---{>}

The tax breaks may be in question but the unfinished addition may have it's first announced tenant. The website for Vince Camuto - a high end women's clothing outlet -says the chain plans to open a store here in spring 2012.

Earlier Coverage -

CNY Central is digging deeper as a June 6th deadline approaches for Carousel Center mall and DestiNY USA developers to complete an 800,000 square foot expansion of the Carousel mall and start phase II.

Syracuse Industrial Development Agency chairman Bill Ryan is basically confirming that the city is treating midnight on Sunday as the deadline for Pyramid Cos. to complete phase I in order to maintain tax breaks on the Carousel Mall expansion.

CNYcentral obtained letters written by Pyramid to SIDA that said the unavoidable delay that caused the extension is still going on. The letter makes it clear that they are not treating Sunday as a deadline.

Ryan says lawyers from both sides are in talks. Construction has resumed at the mall expansion, crews were at work today.

Construction stopped on the Carousel mall expansion after a dispute between Citigroup and developers. A settlement was reached so construction could resume.