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Destiny USA puts further development on pause

It is the end of any collaboration between the City of Syracuse and the Pyramid Companies on the expansion of the Carousel Center Mall.  But the notice this week that Pyramid is calling the current work at the mall the final phase of the Destiny project may not tell the entire story.

Destiny spokesman David Aitken says this move doesn't rule out more Destiny deals in the future.

"Are we hopeful for additional development down the road?  The answer's yes.  But we are going to take it one day at a time,"says Aitken.

Aitken says the decision to rule out any further expansion with the help of the city  of Syracuse in the form of bonds right now was partly based on poor economic conditions that wouldn't have supported the many projects Pyramid proposed.  Over the years, central New Yorkers heard about things like skating rinks, an aquarium and a hotel dubbed the "Destiny Grand."  And while many in the community were skeptical of these plans, and critical of the use of public dollars for the proposals, Aitken suggests it was okay to dream.

"Every time a baseball player gets up to bat, they try and swing for the fences. We did that and we weren't able to hit it over the fence but were able to get a solid hit," Aitken says.

According to Aitken, the focus now for Pyramid is to continue work on the Carousel expansion, toward the August 2 event when the mall complex is officially rebranded as Destiny USA.  Aitken says shoppers won't see any change at the mall, noting new stores continue to open.  Developers made the decision to deem the current expansion of the mall the final phase,  in the shadow of a deadline, that would have forced Pyramid to begin work on a new phase of construction or pay a penalty.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.