Court Temporarily Stops Construction on Barry Diller’s Futuristic Offshore Park

Posted On Thu, June 30, 2016 By

Posted On Thu, June 30, 2016 By In Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

Last summer, a civic group known as City Club of New York slapped Barry Diller’s Pier 55 with a lawsuit, claiming he and the Hudson River Park Trust had failed to thoroughly evaluate the environmental impact of the 2.7-acre offshore park. In April of this year, the Manhattan Supreme Court dismissed the case, and later that same month news broke that construction on the $130 million project would begin this summer after gaining regulatory approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, DNAinfo reports that today an appellate court issued an injunction that says work must temporarily stop until at least September when the opponents present their case again.

Pier 55, Hudson River Park Trust, Barry Diller

In addition to the City Club, those heading up the lawsuit are activist Tom Fox and environmentalist Rob Buchanan. They cite environmental concerns that the park would wipeout local species such as the American eel and shortnose sturgeon, and they also argue that the public space would be used for “non-park purposes” like ticketed concerts. (As 6sqft previously noted, both Central Park and Prospect Park hold many ticketed events, and half of Pier 55′s events will be free or low-cost.) The April ruling said this claim was without merit, as the 1998 Hudson River Park act that helped to create the park says it must support itself financially without government aid, and revenue from ticketed events would go towards maintenance.

Pier55- floating park

A spokesman from Diller’s Pier 55 Inc. said of the ruling: “By continuing its misguided crusade, the City Club is obstructing the will of the local community and undermining a much-needed effort to create new public parks in New York City. This is a temporary delay for a project that has won approval from all levels of government and consistently withstood legal scrutiny. We are committed to making Pier55 a reality and providing nearly three acres of public green space for all New Yorkers to enjoy.”

[Via DNAinfo]

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