Matt's Memo: Destiny Deal with Syracuse buys time for $1 million

A flurry of emails, cell calls and intense conversations redirected our news reporters, live trucks and photographers during the middle of our early evening newscasts. We had just learned that the mayor of Syracuse had reached an agreement with Destiny developers. The two sides had reached a critical city imposed deadline. Had there not been an agreement the city would have returned the Carousel Center expansion to the property tax rolls. That would have cost Destiny more than $4 million a year. The developer would have likely gone to court to fight that move by the city. Instead there is a deal.

We have spent a decade scrambling to cover major developments in the lengthy timeline in the birth and development of the project known as Destiny. This latest piece was a key to further progress on that empty shell of a building that is largely complete and attached to the original Carousel Center mall. Mayor Miner spoke off the cuff in a simple manner because, as she said, it is a simple deal. Destiny pays the city $1 million in exchange for six more months to complete Phase One of the project.

The mayor admits to having no idea whether that will be enough time for the developer to accomplish much. All she knows is Destiny needed more time and she now has an added million dollars in exchange for pushing the calendar forward a bit. She did say it's in everyone's interest for this mall to be completed and start generating its intended benefit.

Mayor Miner referred to her training as an attorney several times during the news conference. She said Terry Mannion negotiated for the city, but her comments made it clear who was driving this deal.

Mark December 6th on your calendar. That's six months from today's deadline.

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