Rendering by Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick Studio
After years of drama, during which the project was declared dead, then given new life, construction on the public park anchored in the Hudson River (also known as Pier 55 and Diller Island), is now moving forward as evidenced by a site photo taken by CityRealty this week showing two walkways leading to the pier from Hudson River Park now in place. As 6sqft reported last October, the Pier 55 project spearheaded by media mogul Barry Diller was rebooted with Diller’s renewed commitment, complete with the backing of his recent legal foes, former ointment-fly Douglas Durst and Governor Andrew Cuomo.
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Rendering via Pier55, Inc
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer appointed Douglas Durst on Friday to the board of the Hudson River Park Trust, a group he has frequently criticized over their proposed Pier55 project. Durst admitted last year to funding a lawsuit to stop the trust’s plan for an off-shore park on the Hudson River. While billionaire businessman Barry Diller, who is funding the $250 million project, halted construction in September, the plan was restored a month later, with pressure and financial help from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Brewer told Crain’s that Durst didn’t volunteer, she asked him to join the board. “I think he loves the park,” she said.
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Photo: Pier 55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio.
In September, 6sqft reported that billionaire IAC Chairman Barry Diller was giving up on the $250 million project that promised to bring a futuristic offshore park and cultural destination to the Hudson River’s dilapidated Pier 54. Since its beginnings in 2014, the seemingly ill-fated project, known as Pier 55 (or sometimes “Diller Park”), was beleaguered by opposing factions–eventually revealed to be funded by prominent New York real estate developer Douglas Durst–that blocked its progress at every turn. Diller, who had imagined the project as a new Manhattan waterfront icon to rival the nearby High Line, had had enough. In a cautiously optimistic turnaround, it was announced Wednesday that the media mogul–now backed by his recent legal foes and Durst in addition to Governor Andrew Cuomo–was renewing his commitment to move ahead with the project, according to Crain’s. Diller said in a statement, “I have had countless people tell me how much they were looking forward to having this new pier, and how unfortunate were the circumstances of its cancellation.”
So what happened?
, Thu, September 14, 2017
Photo: Pier 55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio.
Barry Diller, the billionaire chairman of IAC, announced he’s killing the $250 million project that promised to bring a futuristic offshore park and cultural site to the Hudson River’s dilapidated Pier 54. 6sqft previously covered the unfolding saga of the ill-fated project, known as Pier 55 (or sometimes as “Diller Park”), as opposing factions continually blocked its progress and were eventually revealed to be funded by prominent New York real estate developer Douglas Durst. According to the New York Times, Diller said Wednesday that his commitment to build the undulating pier would be coming to an end—an inglorious one for a bold plan that some, and certainly Diller himself, saw as a new Manhattan waterfront icon to rival the nearby High Line.
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Photo via Pier 55 Inc.
6sqft reported in March on the latest developments in the on-again-off-again status of the $200 million Barry Diller-funded offshore park/performing arts center proposed for Pier 55 on the Hudson River; though construction began last November, opponents of the project, led by the City Club of New York, gained a victory in the form of a ruling by Judge Lorna G. Schofield that agreed with group’s claim that the Army Corps of Engineers had not conducted a sufficient environmental review on how the 2.4-acre park would affect fish and wildlife. The judge ordered that work stop at the site and called for a review of alternatives for building along Hudson River Park, a maritime sanctuary. Now, the New York Times reports that the Corps of Engineers, with the project’s sponsor, the Hudson River Park Trust, has filed an appeal of the decision.
And what about that Diller-Durst feud
If you thought the roller coaster that is Pier 55 was over since construction began in November, you may not want to step off the ride just yet. Just yesterday, a federal judge ruled in favor of the City Club of New York, who took legal action against the $200 million Barry Diller-funded offshore park way back in the summer of 2015. As reported by the Times, Judge Lorna G. Schofield agreed with the group’s claim that the Army Corps of Engineers had not conducted a sufficient environmental review on how the 2.4-acre park would affect fish and wildlife. She ordered that work stop at the site and called for a review of alternatives for building along Hudson River Park, a maritime sanctuary.
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A gift to perhaps the greatest woman in New York City, it was revealed on Wednesday that the Statue of Liberty will be receiving a $4.58 million facelift. The Post had the details on the plans which were approved by The National Park Service (NPS) earlier this week. The overhaul is expected to include the planting of 46 salt-tolerant trees, repairs to the statue’s granite pavers, and the installation of about 1,650-feet of stainless steel fencing and new gates around Lady Liberty’s base.
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Current view of Pier55 site, via 6sqft
Now that the Barry Diller-funded Pier 55 offshore park can proceed freely, the Wall Street Journal took a look at how construction is progressing on the $200 million project. Currently, the 535 concrete columns, each three feet wide and ranging from 70 to 200 feet long, that will support the 2.75-acre park have been erected, poking out of the Hudson River amidst the historic wooden piles that once supported Pier 54, where the Titanic was supposed to dock (these will remain to sustain marine life development). On top of them will be pots, “hollow pentagonal forms” that weigh as much as 60 tons and will be “linked with concrete to create a rectangular platform of about 104,000 square feet.”
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It’s full steam ahead for the FXFOWLE-designed Statue of Liberty Museum. Per the Journal, The National Park service approved plans on Wednesday to erect the free-standing structure on Liberty Island. The development team broke ground on the project in early October and at the same time releasing renderings of what would eventually rise on the site. As 6sqft previously reported, the $70 million museum is being helped along by Diane von Furstenberg, who has been named the honorary “godmother” of the project. Von Furstenberg is currently spearheading fundraising efforts for the museum and hopes to secure $100 million from donors for the development. Von Furstenberg, along with her husband Barry Diller, are also in the midst of pushing another civic project forward, Pier55 Park.
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After nearly a year and a half of yo-yo-ing back and forth between stop work orders and lawsuits, the Barry Diller-funded Pier 55 park can finally move ahead freely. The New York Law Journal reports that yesterday the state Court of Appeals denied the City Club of New York’s appeal of September’s ruling in favor of Pier 55 and the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) that said construction could continue on the 2.75-acre offshore park, dismissing the opponents’ claims that the park failed to go through adequate environmental impact evaluations and violated the public trust doctrine by planning to host private events.
What this means for Pier 55