Updated 08/02/2012 05:00 PM
Carousel Center now Destiny USA
It's not a new name, but now it represents much more than just an expansion of a mall. YNN's Bill Carey says the entire Carousel Center and its expansion have now been rebranded as Destiny USA.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It all happened with a tug on a curtain, revealing no real secret. Carousel Center and its expansion will now be known as Destiny USA.
The project brings new stores, restaurants and entertainment venues to the site, but more importantly, it also brings some benefits to deal with a faltering economy.
“Very positive thing. Brings more jobs. You know, we need that in the area, the Syracuse community. So I think it's a great thing,” Darrell Mobley said.
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “This project generates millions of sales tax dollars that the people in this community get to use every day for our roads and our health care and to pay for our employees and the other economic development projects. This is a tremendous benefit to our community.”
“People buy. Sales tax goes up. More jobs come on. It's all about jobs and sales tax. Really. When all is said and done for our community,” Destiny USA partner Robert Congel said.
The project has not been without its challenges. Legal battles. At one point, a loss of financing. Some of those wandering the halls of the new expansion say it's hard to set all that aside. But many say their mind was changed by what they've seen.
“There's been a lot of controversy, so, you know, coming here, you come maybe with some negative feelings towards the structure. Like the layout. Seems to be easy to get around. I love the architecture. It's been very pleasant,” Susan Burgette said.
The people who built the mall say despite the challenges, they have continued to believe the project would be a success.
“Always. Yup, always. You don't become a real estate developer, unless you're an optimist,” Destiny USA partner Bruce Kenan said.
Despite the re-branding, there is still construction work underway inside the mall as more tenants move in. This full mall won't be in operation with all of its stores open until close to the end of the year. Then comes the test to see if this new, larger Destiny USA will be a success.
The new Destiny USA offers 2.4 million square feet of retail space. It ranks as the sixth largest mall in America.