Green mega-mall gets green light to build in Syracuse, N.Y.

Destiny USA — the purportedly uber-green mega-mall planned for Syracuse, N.Y. — is finally ready to move into the construction phase, after developers and local officials ended years of bickering and reached a 30-year tax deal this week. According to lead developer Robert Congel, it will be the largest complex in the world run entirely on renewable energy. The first phase, 848,000 square feet of retail, dining, and entertainment space, could open in 2008; subsequent phases include a 1,000-room hotel and an additional 350,000 square feet of shops. Congel says the mega-mall will set a new standard for eco-friendly development, and bring welcome job opportunities and tourism to Syracuse, where almost 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Does it count as “tourism” when you visit a mall?