We've heard it all before, but it appears there are plans afoot again to build a large hotel next to Destiny USA.
The owners of the mall are in the planning stages of building a 250 room hotel next to the mall, which would include a conference center. The hotel would be built on a parcel near the mall's south parking lot on Hiawatha Boulevard.
If all goes as planned, construction could begin this spring with an opening around Christmas in 2015. There could be 300 construction jobs coming with the hotel and 80 permanent jobs with the hotel, which would be filled with suites. A spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Miner says city hall will not comment on the project.
There have been several proposals over the years to build a hotel at the mall site, but none of those plans have ever gotten off the ground.
Destiny USA officials say they're working to secure private financing for the project, but will also seek public tax breaks for the hotel as well.
Here's a copy of the letter Destiny officials sent to the Mayor and the Onondaga County Executive:
February 4, 2014
Dear County Executive Mahoney and Mayor Stephanie Miner:
On behalf of the entire Destiny USA team, I hope this communication finds you both well. Following several months of thoughtful planning and analysis, Destiny USA is prepared to take the next steps in the development of an on-site all-suites hotel to compliment the influx of leisure travelers to the region. It is our intent to finalize our relationship with a leading hospitality brand and to file an application with the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) to induce the project and grant financial assistance - similar to other hospitality projects in the region.
The project includes 252 hotel rooms connected to Destiny USA, along with associated conference and meeting space. The LEED certified project would be built on a portion of the existing south parking lot across Hiawatha Boulevard (311-71 Hiawatha Boulevard West) and we plan to connect the hotel to Destiny USA via an enclosed pedestrian bridge. Based on design work and construction analysis, the total cost of the hotel is estimated at $75 million. We are currently engaged in the financial markets to secure private financing to implement the project: which we are working to commence this spring and open during the 2015 holiday season.
As you are aware, on-site hospitality has long been part of our master plan, seeking to further drive tourists to Central New York to experience Destiny USA and all that the region offers. With the growth of Canadian tourists and other guests to Syracuse, we are excited about the opportunity to invest more resources along Onondaga Lake and the New York State Canal System. The new development will directly create more than 300 construction jobs and over 80 permanent positions for area residents, along with new sales tax and room occupancy tax revenues.
We are excited with the plans to develop the western shore of Onondaga Lake, along with the additional development underway in the Inner Harbor. All of these initiatives will further enhance the position of Syracuse and Central New York as a destination.
Sensitive to public perception and desiring to exceed the public's expectations, we did not wish to publicize this news before informing you both. In anticipation of some inquiries as we quietly proceed, however, we will respond to the news media and visitors as requested.
We greatly appreciate the ongoing support of both of your offices and look forward to developing the hotel. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
David M. Aitken