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Old 06-15-2013, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,706,868 times
Reputation: 20540

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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanplanner View Post
I have advocated for a hotel and conference facility on Destiny's web-site, sending e-mails, fb page, etc. I think it makes sense that a destination of that size, that attracts that many people, needs a hotel (and conference space). We all have read that four new hotels are proposed for Dewitt and Destiny is one of the rationale's for their construction.

Let the "curcifixian" begin!
Get out your cross!

Seriously, though I admit I'm far from a fan of this entire project, I will say a hotel would be an asset especially if the sky falls down on us and Congel does in fact expand the mall. As long as it's not one of those $200+ a night hotels on Tuesdays, I would think it would do well.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:02 AM
 
1,544 posts, read 3,067,413 times
Reputation: 1605
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanplanner View Post
I know I am the lone wolf on this issue and have supported the Destiny project since its inception. If a deal can be done with the County, that does not further impact City finances or, the COR inner-harbor project, or impact the integrity of Franklin Square and, future development around COR's project, and is NOT a pie in the sky "galactic installation" that was originally proposed, then I say fine.

I have advocated for a hotel and conference facility on Destiny's web-site, sending e-mails, fb page, etc. I think it makes sense that a destination of that size, that attracts that many people, needs a hotel (and conference space). We all have read that four new hotels are proposed for Dewitt and Destiny is one of the rationale's for their construction.

I know there is a lot of cynicism about this project, the developer and pyramid, but it was only a matter of time when Destiny was going to expand. I never believed for one minute that Congel was going to abandon future expansions. Like it or not, it is part of the local economic landscape, it is in the communities interest that it succeed.

Let the "curcifixian" begin!
UrbanPlanner: I respect your opinion and am glad there is usually a rigorous debate about Congel and the mall. Your defense of the mall and Congel is always backed up with valid points. Initially, I was a big supporter of him and the Carousel mall expansion. Much of the criticism I used to think was from people who were jealous of his financial success and wanted Syracuse to remain a backward town clinging to unrealistic dreams of large factories and bloated union jobs or those who were generally opposed to capitalism and had unrealistic expectations that everyone should rely on mom and pop stores for all of their shopping needs. I will fully admit the that mall was a major improvement to that part of the city which for decades consisted of large, rusted oil tanks that obstructed views of the city skyline, Onondaga Lake and served as an ugly reminder of the region's industrial demise to the tens of thousands of daily commuters from the northern and western suburbs entering downtown. A compelling argument can be made that early on Congel was instrumental in attracting retailers that normally chose not to locate in shopping malls (e.g Best Buy) and helped persuade foreign brands like H&M to establish stores in the U.S.

Unfortunately, all of the earlier plans that featured attractive, albeit somewhat unrealistic designs including a tuscan villa, waterpark, golf course, and large research park never materialized. All of the earlier perceptions held by many residents that Congel and his team were nothing more than master manipulators who resorted to grandoise architectural sketches and glossy marketing brochures to win over a notoriously skeptical public started to ring true in my eyes. The finished expansion looked like a prison and far different from the original mall, which despite many critics, looked attractive in my opinion with its blue windows, atrium, and nice interior skylights which gave a look simliar to some of the Florida and California shopping malls. Despite some cheap and minor alterations, the exterior of the expansion looks like an afterthought and a sloppy attempt to assuage some last minute complaints.

The ground floor of the expansion resembles a dungeon and lacks the natural light provided by the open-air design and skylights in the legacy section. Low ceilings, brown colored flooring that looks like it was taken from a Wal-Mart Supercenter and inconsistent lighting greets vistors walking to the entrances of the few attractive tenants in the ground floor expansion section like Hickey Freeman and Saks Off 5th.

Despite promises of "destination" retailers unique to CNY, Congel gave us a Dicks Sporting Goods, Burlington Coat Factory and TJ Maxx, all stores that already have locations in the Syracuse market. Two of these retailers ended up leaving existing shopping centers in first ring suburbs. There is nothing illegal or unethical about this, as retailers routinely shift to newer or better situated shopping centers when leases for existing locations expire. The problem is it appears to the casual observor and even those with some knowledge of the industry, that Pyramid was not very selective in its choice of retailers and basically stuck as many of them as they could get into the mall. The lower the vacancy rate, the more cost effective it is for them to obtain additional financing and enjoy greater profits. Many of these arcade-style attractions take up a lot of square footage which helps Congel achieve that goal.

Restaurants like the Melting Pot and PF Changs would have located in the Syracuse market anyway and Shoppingtown would have mostly likely landed them. Syracuse was one of the only Top 100 metro areas that had yet to land them and part of that may have been that retailers had been waiting on the sidelines for almost a decade to see how Congel's dream would pan out. Wilmorite and Macerich were slumlords and let their properties decline. In some ways, I can understand their rationale as they knew the Syracuse market is simply not large or affluent enough to support 3 viable shopping malls and the costs associated with making Shoppingtown and Great Northern competitive were just too significant to compete with Carousel. To further add insult to injury, there are many parts of the existing Carousel Center that look downright neglected from missing light bulbs near the skylights, rundown temporary stores, and dirty bathrooms.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,668 posts, read 2,381,288 times
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Destiny tenants gain recognition for sustainable building practices | syracuse.com

Destiny tenants gain recognition for sustainable building practices.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:21 PM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 7,823,145 times
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I grew up in the area and just visited the Carousel Mall for the first time in at least 10 years. What an embarrassment for the City of Syracuse! 10 years and millions spent on bringing in a PF Changs and an overpriced indoor gokart course. I can see why so many residents are upset. So many broken promises. That new addition is going to be a ghost town in a few years. It already looks dated. Laser tag? Seriously?
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:58 AM
 
1,544 posts, read 3,067,413 times
Reputation: 1605
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlenextyear View Post
I grew up in the area and just visited the Carousel Mall for the first time in at least 10 years. What an embarrassment for the City of Syracuse! 10 years and millions spent on bringing in a PF Changs and an overpriced indoor gokart course. I can see why so many residents are upset. So many broken promises. That new addition is going to be a ghost town in a few years. It already looks dated. Laser tag? Seriously?

Agreed. I was maligned for saying the obvious. The place is a dump and will eventually be the home of dollar stores, pawn shops, nail salons, and check cashing places after the outlet tenants depart.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:01 AM
 
Location: 213, 310, 562, 909, 951, 952, 315, ???
1,537 posts, read 2,209,221 times
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It isn't a dump and it is an improvement over what is there. Sure the deal sucked and it wasn't what was promised, but it is better than what was Carousel.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,668 posts, read 2,381,288 times
Reputation: 1679
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlenextyear View Post
I grew up in the area and just visited the Carousel Mall for the first time in at least 10 years. What an embarrassment for the City of Syracuse! 10 years and millions spent on bringing in a PF Changs and an overpriced indoor gokart course. I can see why so many residents are upset. So many broken promises. That new addition is going to be a ghost town in a few years. It already looks dated. Laser tag? Seriously?
To give some perspective, the Carousel Center Mall (now Destiny) was conceived and expanded prior to new local initiatives, like the Connective Corridor, the growth of Armory Square, the Creekwalk, new residential development downtown, the proposed COR development for the inner-harbor, but I think it is an improvement over a scrap yard and oil tanks. Unfortunately, it was the only game in town and local "leaders" jumped on it.

That said, I agree that Pyramid's ever evolving "gallactic designs" were not fitting and I don't think Destiny should be expand beyond Hiawatha Blvd. A new discussion should take place on what direction that area should take, COR's proposed inner-harbor development should be the standard for future development that embodies the architectural integrity of Franklin Square (which was a Congel development, btw) that focuses on mixed-use, new urban concepts, with the Creekwalk as its spine.

Destiny is a part of the community with an emphasis on making it succeed.
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Capitol Hill - Washington, DC
3,168 posts, read 4,634,021 times
Reputation: 3395
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToeJam View Post
It isn't a dump and it is an improvement over what is there. Sure the deal sucked and it wasn't what was promised, but it is better than what was Carousel.
This.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,706,868 times
Reputation: 20540
New store coming to Destiny:

New Pink store from Victoria's Secret coming to Syracuse | syracuse.com

This will be the first Pink location outside of NYC.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:51 AM
 
Location: DeWitt, NY
1,002 posts, read 1,693,819 times
Reputation: 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanplanner View Post
To give some perspective, the Carousel Center Mall (now Destiny) was conceived and expanded prior to new local initiatives, like the Connective Corridor, the growth of Armory Square, the Creekwalk, new residential development downtown, the proposed COR development for the inner-harbor, but I think it is an improvement over a scrap yard and oil tanks. Unfortunately, it was the only game in town and local "leaders" jumped on it.
To give some more perspective: If the original promises of the Congel & the Pyramid Cos. made to get the original mall built, the entire north side would be a thriving and the mall would be surrounded by other developments that the mall was supposed to be a catalyst for. Which, being a mall, it never was and still isn't - malls are inherently designed to be self-contained attractions, which usually do little to complement their surroundings
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