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What does Destiny USA’s plan to build $75 million hotel mean for taxpayers in Central New York?

Destiny USA plans to build a $75 million, 252-room hotel next to the mall in Syracuse, but what impact would it have on taxpayers?
Updated: 11:29 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 6, 2014

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Destiny USA plans to build a $75 million, 252-room hotel next to the mall in Syracuse, but what impact would it have on taxpayers?

NewsChannel 9 learned of the mall's plans Thursday morning after acquiring a letter representatives sent to Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.

According to the letter, which has since been provided to media, an all-suite hotel would be built on the mall’s existing south parking lot on Hiawatha Boulevard.

Read the letter: Click here to see what Destiny USA told the city and county

David Aitken, a representative for Destiny USA owners Pyramid Corporation, said via email, "We are excited about pushing the development forward and look forward to commenting as the hotel moves forward."

A new enclosed pedestrian bridge would be built to connect the hotel to the mall and the hotel would also include conference and meeting space.

Destiny USA has already received tax breaks from the city and management says it will secure private financing for the project - working with the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency or OCIDA.

“There are tools that OCIDA has at its disposal to incentivize deals, but that's a very valuable project and what kind of incentive the community might be interested in, is a conversation that hasn't been started yet,” Mahoney said.

OCIDA can finance the project by issuing both taxable and tax-exempt bonds, which means if a deal goes through - the mall could receive another tax break.

It could also mean money in the pocket for the county because two-thirds of its budget is based on sales tax revenue.

“So the more activity we have the more we’ll be able to do things like buy police cars and pave roads and plow streets,” Mahoney said.

According to the letter, Destiny USA hopes to begin construction in the spring and open the hotel during the holidays in 2015.

The mall expects that 300 construction jobs will be created as part of the development, and that 80 permanent positions will be created when the hotel is complete.

Mayor Miner's office declined to comment about the plans.

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