The information gathering phase of a proposed 252-room hotel project next to the Destiny USA mall in Syracuse has started.
Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse both received letters last week from Destiny indicating a plan to build a hotel across the street from the mall. The developer is asking for tax breaks from the county consistent with deals other hotels have gotten. The difference, according to mayoral spokesman Tim Carroll, is that Destiny is going through the county.
“This is unprecedented in the sense that the county Industrial Development Authority would trigger a project in the city," Carroll said. "So the obvious questions are what is that and what are the impacts on city tax revenue, and county tax revenue as well.”
Carroll says going to the county to get breaks inside city limits is not unexpected considering the city’s rocky relationship with the developer.
“Several years ago Destiny triggered a clause in the contract that said we’re done, the final phase is done, and that locked in a 30-year tax break," Carroll said. "So I think that when you figure that they already promised a hotel and other expansions, and then backed away from those, maybe it’s not a surprise they didn’t come to the city.”
County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Mayor Stephanie Miner have been meeting on the issue and agree that more questions need to be answered about the potential project. Carroll says they hope to get that information in the next few weeks.