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Diller vs Durst:  Saga Continues on Pier 55

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The project is primarily funded by a $113 million grant from the foundation of media mogul, Mr. Barry Diller, (pictured above) Chairman of the InterActive Corp. The city, the state and the Army Corps of Engineers have approved the project.

On Thursday September 8, in their latest round of court battles, the New York State Appellate division Court, upheld the Hudson River Park Trust’s right to build a new park on Pier 55, as reported by the New York Times.  

The $200 million project has enticed many critics and three lawsuits last year by The City Club. The City Club of New York is concerned that the new construction has not properly considered the environmental consequences that such a building project will have to the water of the Hudson River.  

In June 2016, the Appellate Division in Manhattan had briefly stalled construction on the 2.4 acre project until the City Club could be given an opportunity to present their case.

The proposed construction of Pier 55 would float just north of Pier 54 at W. 14th St. and have outdoor space and an amphitheater with three performance spaces and a total capacity of 6,000 people.  It would also replace the now crumbling nearby pier.  

The project is primarily funded by a $113 million grant from the foundation of media mogul, Mr. Barry Diller, Chairman of the InterActive Corp. The city, the state and the Army Corps of Engineers have approved the project.

In its current rapid decision approving the Pier, and in agreement with the lower court, the New York State Appellate announced that, “The existing record indicates that the trust adequately considered the cumulative impacts of the Pier 55 project and the nearby Pier 57 project.” 

Mrs. Madelyn Wils, President of the Hudson River Park commented, “This was a ridiculous lawsuit from the start, so we’re pleased by today’s swift and sweeping decision. Today’s ruling marks a victory for the millions who love Hudson River Park, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to what will be one of New York’s greatest public spaces.”

According to the Times, Richard D. Emery, the lawyer representing the opponents, said he was dissatisfied in the decision and would be turning to the Court of Appeals, to overturn the case. “The notion that a project of such enormous proportions in a legislatively protected water sanctuary could be rubber-stamped in this perfunctory way degrades all the environmental protections the public deserves, even if they call it a park,” Mr. Emery said.

The City Club still has two other ongoing litigations against the Pier 55 project. One of which is in federal court against the project’s approval by the Corps of Engineers.  The other is in the New York Supreme Court in Albany, against the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

By Ilana Siyance

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