Barry Diller

Meatpacking District, Policy, Top Stories, Urban Design

Barry Diller pulls the plug on $250M Pier 55 offshore park

By Michelle Cohen, 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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Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

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

Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

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.

Get the whole legal saga

Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

statue of liberty

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.

more details here

Construction Update, Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Urban Design

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.”

More new details this way

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

Statue of Liberty Museum, FXFOWLE, Liberty Island, NYC museum design

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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Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Policy

Pier 55, Hudson River Park Trust, Barry Diller

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

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

Statue of Liberty Museum, FXFOWLE, Liberty Island, NYC museum design

Four months after it was announced that FXFOWLE would be designing a new, free-standing museum for the Statue of Liberty, principal architect Nicholas Garrison has revealed renderings of his vision for the site at today’s groundbreaking ceremony on Liberty Island. The $70 million project–which will be largely funded by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg–features an angular-shaped, 26,000-square-foot building constructed of glass, granite and concrete that was inspired by its waterfront location. It’ll sit across the circular plaza from the Statue and will “seemingly rise out of the ground,” according to Crain’s, thanks to its green roof that acts as an extension of the surrounding park.

More renderings and details this way

Architecture, Landscape Architecture

Pier 55, Hudson River Park Trust, Barry Diller

All systems are go for the Barry Diller-funded Pier55 park, as a State Appellate court ruled today that work can continue on the 2.75-acre project sited along the Hudson River. As 6sqft previously reported, the main opponent of the park—better known as The City Club of New York—has been aiming to thwart the project under the claim that those involved, namely the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) and Pier55 Inc. (the nonprofit manager established by Diller), failed to go through adequate environmental impact evaluations. City Club served the pair with a lawsuit that eventually led to a stop work order in June. However, an appeals court lifted the stop work order shortly after, and by the end of August, the first nine piles were installed.

Today’s ruling upholds a lower court’s decision that HRPT and Pier55 Inc. did in fact do a proper environmental review, and moreover, that HRPT was not required to put out an RFP to solicit other ideas for the site from other developers—another major point of contention. The court also decided that the park reserves the right to use the space for non-public events like ticketed concerts, although it is noted that “the lease requires that 51 percent of the performances be free or low-cost.”

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Meatpacking District, Polls, Urban Design

Pier 55, Hudson River Park Trust, Barry Diller

As of late last month, summer construction work on the Barry Diller-funded Pier 55 was complete, with the first nine piles propping up the offshore park having been installed. It seemed as though all systems were a go at the $130 million futuristic park, but yesterday 6sqft reported that The City Club of New York, the civic group who was behind an earlier lawsuit and stop work order, may have a backer in none other than Douglas Durst.

And today the Wall Street Journal shares that opponents had their first day in front a panel of state appellate-court judges to express environmental concerns and frustrations that the initial planning between billionaire Diller and the Hudson River Park Trust was done behind closed doors. What are your thoughts on the issue?

More details on the hearing, and tell us if you’re in favor of Pier 55 moving ahead

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