Central New York landmark, and Business Council member Destiny USA, celebrated its grand opening 24 years ago this week as Carousel Center. The facility, opened on October 15, 1990 with approximately 1.1 million square feet of retail space. It has more than doubled in size since then.
With the addition of the expansion in 2011, Destiny USA is now 2.4 million square feet. It is home to more than 160 retail stores, over 40 outlets, 33 restaurants and 17 entertainment venues, making it a destination for couples, friends and families across the region and the world.
Carousel Center has a fascinating history. It was named after the iconic Carousel that sits inside the Food Court on the second level. Carousel No. 18 was manufactured by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1909 and had quite a journey as it moved around the country for 81 years – including several homes in the Syracuse area. The Pyramid Companies purchased the Carousel for $397,500 in 1985 when its then-current home at Roseland Park closed. The company restored it and placed it in Carousel Center in 1990.
“The Carousel continues to run each day and puts smiles on the faces of everyone, kids and adults alike,” Sara Wallace, Director of Marketing, said. “Destiny USA will be offering free carousel rides to everyone on October 15 as part of the anniversary celebration.”
The facility has always been much more than just a shopping center. Even from its early years, it has been a driver of economic development, including jobs, sales tax revenues, and tourism to the area. Carousel Center, and now Destiny USA, also has an active history focused on environmental protection since Robert Congel, founder of The Pyramid Companies, purchased the land the facility stands on in 1983.
Now, in its industry-leading role, Destiny USA implements a model of advanced and innovative sustainability initiatives as a LEED Gold® certified building, including rainwater harvesting, a solar reflective “cool” roof, purchasing Green Power for the facility, using recycled products used in construction throughout the expansion, and many more.
“We’re proud of our LEED Gold® status and strive to expand all of our sustainability measures throughout the facility,” Rob Schoeneck, General Manager, said. “Destiny USA has grown its recycling program in recent years and created a composting program. Since July 2012, we’ve composted more than 1.1 million pounds from 25 restaurants.”