Judge Gives the Go Ahead to Barry Diller’s Pier 55 Offshore Park

Posted On Fri, April 8, 2016 By

Posted On Fri, April 8, 2016 By In Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Urban Design

Billionaire media mogul (and husband to Diane von Furstenberg) Barry Diller just had a big victory in his road to constructing Pier 55, a $130 million futuristic park off 14th Street in Hudson River Park. As reported by the Post, the Manhattan Supreme Court dismissed a case against the development that claimed it could have a negative environmental impact, wiping out local species such as the American eel and shortnose sturgeon.

Justice Joan Lobis, who noted she enjoys biking along the Hudson, said the project did go through the appropriate environmental review process, which found that it “would not cause significant adverse impacts on the aquatic habitat.” Though the plaintiffs, the civic group known as the City Club of New York, have vowed to appeal the decision, construction is currently set to begin later this year.

Pier 55, Hudson River Park Trust, Barry Diller

The 2.4-acre offshore landscape was first revealed to the public in November 2014, at which time some elected officials and neighbors were not pleased with the secretive design process and plans to use private funds to build a public space. So it came as no surprise that in June 2015, the City Club of New York, who work to protect public parks from commercial development, slapped Diller and the Hudson River Park Trust with a lawsuit that would halt construction until a new environmental review was undertaken. They also wanted approval from the State Legislature, as they claimed the public space would be used for “non-park purposes” like ticketed concerts. (It should be noted that both Central Park and Prospect Park hold many ticketed events, and half of Pier 55’s events will be free or low-cost.)

Mathews Neilsen, Pier 55 floating park, Barry Diller, Heatherwick Studio, Pier 55 renderings

“I think the case is ripe for appeal,” said the City Club’s attorney Richard Emery. “It’s a major blight on the waterfront as far as we’re concerned.” On the contrary, Barry Diller told the Post, “The court did what we hoped, reject completely the claims made by the City Club. On behalf of Hudson River Park Trust, and all those involved in this project, I’m so glad we can get back to building a great park and performance center for the people of New York and all those who come to visit.”

[Via NYP]

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All renderings via Heatherwick Studio

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Neighborhoods : Meatpacking District

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