Destiny USA ‘concerned’ about proposed community grid

Future of 81

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) Central New York’s biggest shopping location is voicing its concern regarding the New York State Department of Transportations preferred option of a community grid for Interstate 81.

In a statement to NewsChannel 9, Steve Congel, CEO, Pyramid Management Group said: 

“Destiny USA is an international travel and tourism destination with visitors from well beyond the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County limits and all over the world. Since 1987, we have transformed the Syracuse lakefront area and Destiny USA project into one of New York State’s top tourist attractions, employing over 5,500 and serving as an important economic catalyst for all of Central New York. At the heart of it all has always been—and always will be—high-speed access to and visibility from I-81. It’s what allows us to attract hundreds of businesses and tens of millions of visitors to Destiny USA, the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County from outside the region every year. We are concerned about any solution that impacts Destiny USA’s ability to remain a regional draw. We have shared this concern with the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County and New York State over many years. Like many businesses, residents, and community leaders who recognize the need for maintaining high-speed access through the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County, we are anxious to review the latest Draft Environmental Impact Statement released by the New York State Department of Transportation and participate in the determination and ultimate outcome of this transformational decision.”

The DEIS report is 15,000 pages long, but there are still plenty of questions of how it will impact business along the highway.

“What it does not address are the economic concerns like the town of salina, which has really grown around the current route 81. Destiny which is the largest generator of sales tax in the county,” said David Knapp, Chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, an advocate for the community grid, believes those concerns can be worked out.

“I think it is in all of our best interest that, not just Destiny USA is successful, but all of the businesses located in the community that is going to be impacted are successful,” he said.

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I-81 Resources: 

View the full New York State Department of Transportation DEIS report here. 

Click here for full renderings of the proposed community grid.

If you want to weigh in on the report, you can write comments to:

Mark Frechette, PE, Project Director

New York State Department of Transportation, Region 3

333 East Washington Street

Syracuse, NY 13202

You can email comments to I81Opportunities@dot.ny.gov.

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