Now that a $7 million tax deal has been approved for a new hotel at Destiny USA, construction is expected to begin on it in June. Controversy remains over which of the region's development agencies should be approving these kinds of tax deals.
Opponents say that for the last three decades, the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, which unanimously approved the Destiny Hotel deal, have traditionally deferred city projects to the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency.
Pat Hogan, a board member on the Onondaga IDA said he believes it's appropriate for the agency to consider projects that are in the city and beneficial to city residents.
“I was unaware of any unspoken agreement,” Hogan said.
Hogan said the recent approval of the hotel deal and a mixed-use neighborhood at the Inner Harbor is part of the overall development along Onondaga Lake, which touches many municipalities.
“It’s an accessible place for a lot of city residents and that’s a big thing as far as getting a job is the accessibility of those jobs," Hogan said. "Hotels offer entry level positions where a person can, maybe with a high school education, advance.”
Destiny’s application to the county agency included some community benefits, such as a commitment to hire city residents and to use women and minority owned businesses, something that was lacking from COR Development’s Inner Harbor tax deal.