Destiny USA

Syracuse’s Destiny USA was designed in order to drive local and international visitors to the struggling city to not only provide revenue to the city, but to promote tourism throughout Central New York. Destiny USA has plans to expand the mall further through the expansion of the inner harbor area close by. There are plans for Destiny USA to develop a 1,342-room hotel as well as expand retail along the harbor. The hope is for the newly developed center would provide a significant number of jobs in the Syracuse area. As of now, the only hotel plans within the Inner Harbor is a new Aloft that will contain 130 rooms and a movement has begun in the area to clear out the brush and demolish the vacant buildings on the land.
Under the new addition of now Destiny USA, Onondaga County Legislature asked for property tax exemption to allow for the expansion of the newly added sectors. The IDA exempted property tax, which allowed Destiny USA the opportunity for construction without the accumulation of debt before stores open. The elimination of property taxes until the completion of the new addition helped Destiny USA plan accordingly and not pressure construction that would lead them to be LEED Gold Certified. However, with future expectations of leading to be the second most visited mall, developers are ranging to expand in a different direction. Before the newly built addition previous plans and proposals of a Hotel complex was in the works. The plan for the hotel was to bring more tourists into one main location filled with, shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Overall with the intent to increase the amount of visitors and revenue since it’s a center point within Central New York and Canada.
Although there is a high demand to continue to expand and develop Destiny USA the impact for the city of Syracuse as a whole has moved in a different direction. There has been a main focus to turn Destiny USA as the main attraction of Syracuse. However, its focus tends to put aside the affects on the city and its need. Although the mall has much collaboration such as revenue towards other developing programs and waste product initiative, there is no direct improvement for the city. The overall impact of this design and development is to bring a new direction to the city as the developer and a main tourist attraction.
As seemingly great as these plans may seem, however, the question of how effective this would actually be must be asked. The city of Syracuse and the Destiny USA proponents are putting in a lot of work into “improving the city” by developing a highly commercialized area of Syracuse to attract outside visitors to the city. But what good would actually come from this? If the Inner Harbor and Destiny USA is the one sector of the city that is attracting tourists, then what will happen to the other, less developed areas of the city? Looking into the existing downtown of Syracuse, Armory Square has similarly been developed and planned to spur revenue and make the city better than it was before. However, there is a clear disconnect between Armory Square and the rest of the downtown areas; the class of people are different, the prices at stores and restaurants are different, etc.
At the current rate of development, the Inner Harbor/ Destiny USA will segregate the city further. How much good will a newly developed area of the city have if it is solely geared toward the entertainment of upper-middle class visitors?