New Destiny website shows little more than mall expansion

An overhead photo of the current Carousel Center expansion project / photo:

Destiny USA has a new website, but there is little mention of plans beyond the existing expansion of the Carousel Center in Syracuse.

Previous websites promoted a billion dollar retail and resort complex which would put Syracuse on the map as a major tourist destination. Those websites featured artists renderings of hotels, theme parks and other attractions. The new Destiny website shows none of those plans but rather focuses on the current 1.3 million square foot addition to the Carousel Center which was halted in June 2009. The website does say "further development plans incorporate more than 120 acres of adjoining property including hotels."

The new website comes on the heels of a March 14th announcement by Destiny USA and Citigroup that they have "formally implemented" a settlement to a lawsuit over the financing of the expansion. Though neither Destiny nor Citigroup have released details of the settlement, it presumably settles a dispute over a $155 million construction loan that not only allows for contractors to be paid, but also clears the way for the completion of the addition. There is still no word as to when construction may resume.

Destiny Spokesman David Aitken told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon he is "not available to comment, and not able to comment at this time."

Chris Nolan was one of 200 Central New Yorkers who were hired by Destiny in September 2005 with the promise of new careers at $60,000 a year. He lost his job in June '09 and has not been able to find work since. Nolan says the new website reflects what developer Bob Congel can accomplish given the reality of today's economy. Nolan says he is "disillusioned" that Destiny will not become a reality.

"He (Congel) might have oversold it, but he had great intentions."