If you’ve been out of town all summer, expect to see some major changes to Carousel Mall. Er, Destiny USA.

Yup, you’ve heard right. The mall with the giant carousel at its core is no longer referred to as “Carousel Mall”. Even the signs on the expressways have changed. Welcome all, to “Destiny USA.”

If you’re wondering what that means for our beloved Carousel, it means the mall is getting a much needed face-lift and some impressive additions.

However, the make over and expansion will not make Destiny USA the biggest mall in the nation as the Pyramid Cos. developers once fantasized.

An indoor canal with boats, a re-creation of a Tuscan village, and rooftop parks are just some of the proposed attractions that will not fit the budget, despite a 30-year tax exemption granted by the city of Syracuse.

Some taxpayers are rightfully disappointed and even miffed by the downgrade of the remodeling. Destiny executives are defending the renovation by predicting it could make the shopping center the second most-visited mall in the nation by attracting more Canadian shoppers. A.K.A., more tour busses parked outside of Panera, so watch out for parking.

Here’s a list of what’s already opened, followed by what the developers are planning to open within the next few months.

  • Just opened: a classy Cantina Laredo Mexican restaurant, a fondue-oriented restaurant The Melting Pot, and Sak Fifth Ave. Off Fifth luxury retail outlet.
  • Opening this fall: A new Apple store; a new Burlington Coat Factory store (across from DSW on the lower level of the mall–finally something else down there!); A new Regal movie theatre that includes an IMAX theatre and a high-end digital movie palace; A town square type area called “The Canyon” with upscale dining areas; upscale restaurants P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Gordon Biersch Brewery.

Possibly the most expansive innovation scheduled to open in November is an interactive, scientific-oriented “amusement park for the mind” called WonderWorks The 40,000 square foot facility will open on the third level of Destiny USA. A ropes course and laser tag are among 100 other interactive and educational experiences people of all ages can enjoy at the facility. It’s the first WonderWorks located inside of a mall (Others are located in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Orlando, FL)

Wait, there’s more (with opening dates TBA):

  • Aja: a dance/nightclub
  • Texas de Brazil: a Brazillian steakhouse
  • Pole Position Raceway: an indoor electric go-kart course
  • Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar and Grill restaurant and nightclub
  • Funny Bones Comedy Club : showroom and bar

Sound awesome? I think maybe a bit too good to be true with this economy, but I could be wrong.

To follow the development of Destiny USA and see what is opening and when, click here.

-Shannon Hazlitt

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