You won't see many fully functioning stores as you walk into the addition from an entrance next to the Disney store. ..but you will get a taste of what destiny u-s-a is going to look like. And the broad boulevard look underneath exposed steel beams doesn't appeal to everyone.
"it reminds my of New York City, going through the bus station. Port Authority, that's what it reminds me of. Said Sophie Lafontaine of Syracuse.
She took her complaints to destiny spokesman David Aitken, who was speaking to reporters at the mall. LaFontaine told him it had an industrial look and Aitken yes told her that's what they wanted.
Sophie may have the minority opinion though, judging from the oohs and aahs from many shoppers on Veterans Day weekend....like this mom and daughter from Camillus, who've been coming to carousel for years.
"It's amazing, it doesn't even look like part of the mall....It's a nice upgrade."
Aitken says opening the doors before the official opening next spring, while it's still under construction...is a way to expose the controversial project to 20 million visitors.
"We had the ability to open a new exterior entrance where there's some great parking that's underutilized right outside by Hiawatha Boulevard. have people come in, experience the design, the decor, the architecture, see the brands that are coming. There's been a lot of pent up demand for this project."
Two stores that will be open this holiday season are Lennox china and Hartmann luggage....also opening a series of small kiosks on either side of the broad boulevard center of the addition...selling ornaments and gifts things like that .they don't look like your averge mall kiosk...with polished wood framing around elegant looking countertops....that's what drew Hugh Reed of Haba Skaneatelas. He's a distributor of quality toys made from the Haba company in Germany...and was looking for more exposure of the product in central New York.
"The reason I like it, is it's not the feel of a normal kiosk. A kiosk to me is a small glassed in area in the middle of a mall. these are more like small storefronts, it's more like a small marketplace is the feel I get from it from all the other vendors who are here. It feels like a small store to me."
Central New York has been waiting for Destiny USA for almost a decade...with complications ranging from problems with creditors and debates over tax breaks...keeping plans under wraps. This three floor small addition is much different than some of the early plans for a mall that included an aquarium among other things...Aitken says nothing is in the way of the spring opening....and shoppers are ready for it.
"It's beautiful, it's amazing, now it better go through as planned. The area needs it."