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Old Posted May 30, 2017, 11:55 PM
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chris08876 chris08876 is offline
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Battle of Diller Island Goes Another Round, With a Pier 55 Appeal

Pier 55, the long-planned $200 million performing arts center on a new pier in the Hudson River, is not dead yet.

In March, the project encountered a major setback when Judge Lorna G. Schofield of Federal District Court said the Army Corps of Engineers had failed to consider the effect of the 2.4-acre pier area, at the foot of West 13th Street in Manhattan, on a protected fish and wildlife sanctuary.

The Corps of Engineers, which oversees construction on the nation’s waterways, on Monday filed an appeal of Judge Schofield’s decision alongside the project’s sponsor, the Hudson River Park Trust.

The Hudson River Park Trust, which runs the four-mile-long park, also filed a modified permit application at the end of April that it hoped would overcome the judge’s objections.

The revised application eliminates two of the judge’s technical objections: the use of concrete to fill in some of the 550 pilings that would support the new pier and a barge that was to be docked next to it.

“Our new application eliminates that concern because there is no longer any fill proposed,” said a spokesman for the trust, James Yolles.

The trust has been hoping to replace a crumbling pier where it sponsored concerts and other activities, and it recruited a sponsor, Barry Diller, to foot the bill in 2012. Under Mr. Diller, the plan grew to encompass an elaborate recreation and cultural site designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the British architect known for his innovative design for the Olympic caldron in London.

Mr. Diller, the chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, agreed to take on the cost of building Pier 55 and established a nonprofit group to book performances and maintain the park.

But critics, led by the City Club of New York, a civic group founded in 1892 that was all but dead a few years ago, have filed a series of lawsuits against the project, arguing that government approvals were the result of a “secretive process” devised to bypass public scrutiny. The decision in March was their first successful effort.

Mr. Diller has said the City Club is being bankrolled by Douglas Durst, the real estate tycoon whose family owns a dozen Manhattan skyscrapers and who was once an active supporter of the nonprofit Friends of Hudson River Park, the fund-raising partner of the trust. Mr. Durst has publicly opposed the plan.


The cost of the project has swelled to an estimated $250 million, from $130 million.

Mr. Diller said he found it discouraging to be involved in a project that is “completely in the public’s interest” but has been waylaid by what he said was a small group of critics.

“We’ll see what happens with this next step,” Mr. Diller said in an interview from Budapest. “Currently, we have an injunction and cannot proceed.”

Richard Emery, a lawyer representing opponents of Pier 55, said the appeal and the revised application “sound like desperation measures on the part of the trust and Mr. Diller.”

But Mr. Emery added that he welcomed the attempt to overturn a decision that is “so bulletproof and well reasoned.”
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Old Posted May 31, 2017, 4:37 PM
mrnyc mrnyc is online now
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yeah thanks a lot mr. emery and mr. durst for your proposal, which is to do nothing.

i cant believe those objections, concrete in the pilings and a barge? really? what did the judge think was there previously along the piers for centuries? sheesh.

i am surprized barry diller hasnt gotten completely fed up with this nonsense, but my hat is off to him and diane von furstenburg for hanging in there.

no, the park wont be perfect, it will probably be shut down often for events, but otherwise its a fantastic amenity for the city and its in my neighborhood, so i hope the judge isnt in durst's back pocket, reconsiders and it gets built.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 10:43 AM
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diller has had enough and backs out, so this project is cancelled:

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Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 12:11 PM
yankeesfan1000 yankeesfan1000 is online now
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The NIMBY group that stopped this should at least have to reimburse Diller for the construction costs he's already paid out of pocket. How this wasn't/isn't a bigger deal is crazy.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 6:09 PM
TowerDude TowerDude is online now
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The City Club is full of idiots.
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Old Posted Oct 2, 2017, 12:24 AM
aquablue aquablue is offline
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This park was supposed to happen and this is a shame. What a loss for the city of NYC.

Why did they stop it? Was it for environmental reasons or was it because a vindictive little developer wanted to get back at another developer? Sounds like a school yard fued.

I can't imagine putting another pier in the water is going to really be that harmful to a species, but it is what it is.

Last edited by aquablue; Oct 2, 2017 at 7:06 AM.
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Old Posted Oct 26, 2017, 3:00 AM
streetscaper streetscaper is offline
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After Cuomo intervenes, Pier 55's floating park is back on

Take two: Pier 55’s floating park is back on. The park’s chief benefactor, Barry Diller, said he was “the recipient of so much importuning, from so many people,” over the past month, that he was moved to give the $250 million park one last chance. What’s more, the City Club of New York will no longer be lobbing any more lawsuits against the project.

Cuomo has forced all the warring sides—Diller, the City Club, and Douglas Durst (outed as the benefactor of the City Club)—to come to a consensus, so that the park, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, can move forward.

“Today's historic commitment by Governor Cuomo to finish the Park and protect the Estuary is a great victory for park users and all New Yorkers,” Richard Emery, a founding member of the City Club, and counsel for the Club, said in a statement. “In that spirit, we will not litigate against Pier 55 and will work with the Governor to realize his visionary plan for completion of the Hudson River Park and for protection of the Hudson River.
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Old Posted Oct 26, 2017, 10:32 AM
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Old Posted Oct 26, 2017, 10:44 AM
mrnyc mrnyc is online now
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so what do you think cuomo said to durst? “hayy boddy. so if you ever want to turn over an effing rock in this state again you will let that pier happen am i clear?!”? something like that no doubt. it wasnt all buddy buddy thats for sure, because durst and diller are enemies. anyway, good work gov & way to hang in there with the project barry diller & diane vf. this is such great news and especially at this point as nothing was going to happen with that pier site for the foreseeable future, so wow what a complete surprize.


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Old Posted Oct 26, 2017, 6:49 PM
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Great to hear this is back on. Can't wait to visit this park when it's completed.
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Old Posted Oct 26, 2017, 6:57 PM
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This is great news. I suspected this would come back once Diller vented.

It made zero sense to cancel this project when no one is really opposed to the project except one obscure NIMBY organization, totally bankrolled by a Diller rival.
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Old Posted Oct 26, 2017, 7:37 PM
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antinimby antinimby is offline
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Why was Durst against this?
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Old Posted Oct 26, 2017, 8:03 PM
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Zerton Zerton is offline
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Wow, I thought this was truly dead.

To answer why Durst hates Diller:

“The reason I did not want my name involved is I did not want this to be a personal battle between me and Barry Diller,” Durst told The Villager. “I have nothing against Diller—except he said he wishes I had been killed by my brother,” the accused murderer and estranged family scion Robert Durst.

Yikes! Sounds personal...


Durst, a donor to and former chairman of the Friends of Hudson River Park which oversees fundraising for the four-mile-long stretch that Pier 55 would become a part of, was unceremoniously ousted from his position on the board when former NYCEDC exec Madelyn Wils was appointed as chief executive of the trust in 2011.

The Times notes that "[t]hough Mr. Durst publicly said then that he had agreed ‘to step down for the benefit of the park,’ making way for others who could donate or solicit more money, he seethed in an unpublished interview at what he saw as the highhandedness of the trust’s leadership."
If all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed, if all records told the same tale, then the lie passed into history and became truth. -Orwell
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Old Posted Oct 27, 2017, 4:22 PM
mrnyc mrnyc is online now
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^ yes durst certainly had his reasons and has the money to keep his grapes sour.

you have to give cuomo credit for stepping in and fixing this.

blaz was nowhere to be found.
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Old Posted Oct 27, 2017, 9:24 PM
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Cuomo Says Barry Diller's Controversial Park On The Hudson Is Back ON
Just over a month after billionaire Barry Diller withdrew his controversial proposal for a $250 million park and performance venue in the Hudson River near 14th Street, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he's managed to broker a compromise between warring parties and resurrect the project.
In exchange, the Governor said, he will invest state money to complete the full five mile length of Hudson River Park by the end of his second term, assuming he's reelected. That project has been stalled for years, according to advocates who have sued to block the floating park.

"I have spoken to the parties involved in the lawsuit against Pier 55 and expressed my belief that cooperative efforts to complete the overall park are more constructive than litigation and stalemate," Cuomo stated. "I believe all parties have a higher goal and desire that the park should be completed, and can be completed, in the near future."

"It is my hope that if the people of the State of New York grant me an additional term of office, that the park should be completed in that time period," Cuomo added.

The plan for Pier 55, initially approved by the city in February 2015, came from Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg. The couple planned to kick in $113 million to install 300 columns in the Hudson, designed to support a suspended, 2.5 acre park. Additional costs would fall to taxpayers, with funding for maintaining the park expected to come from concert proceeds.

The City Club first sued to block Diller's park in 2015, arguing that the Hudson River Park Trust failed to provide adequate time for public comment, engaged in a harried environmental review process for a project located in a protected estuary, and "violated the public trust doctrine by alienating public parkland to Pier55, Inc., a private entity."

The City Club is reportedly funded by real estate magnate Douglas Durst, who was a supporter of the nonprofit Friends of Hudson River Park, which raises funds for the Hudson River Park Trust, until he was "pushed out," the Times reports, in 2011.

"I applaud the Governor for his leadership, vision and achievements in rebuilding New York State and his commitment to Hudson River Park," Durst stated Wednesday.

Attorney Richard Emery, who represents the City Club, told Gothamist that "the stars aligned."

"It was well worth giving up our opposition, not withstanding our objections, if the ultimate goal here... could be obtained: finishing the park and protecting the estuary," he said.

"The park has languished for 20 years," he added. "It's been a disaster. And now we have a commitment to finish it."

Last month, Diller indicated to the New York Times that City Club showed no sign of giving up, and that the whole shebang wasn't worth it.

"Because of the huge escalating costs and the fact it would have been a continuing controversy over the next three years I decided it was no longer viable for us to proceed," he said.

His tune has since changed. "In the last month, I have been the recipient of so much importuning, from so many people, all with the same sentiment: they all express their hope that we not give up and instead find some way to proceed with building Pier 55," Diller claimed today, in a Cuomo-issued press release.

"I'm going to make one last attempt to revive the plans to build the Park, so that the intended beneficiaries of our endeavor can fall in love with Pier 55 in the way all of us have," he added.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's name was not mentioned in today's triumphant announcement. He reportedly attempted to resolve the dispute and save Diller's project back in July. Asked about today's news, de Blasio said in a statement, "This development is a crucial step forward in the path toward making Pier 55 a reality. I applaud Mr. Diller's philanthropy and steadfast vision in offering our city such a tremendous public space. My administration stands by ready to assist all those involved in making this project happen."
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2017, 5:30 AM
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They probably threatened Durst with "Either let this project proceed or we will force you to pony up and complete the construction of WTC-1's spire by installing the architectural cladding that was supposed to be there in the first place"

I still can't believe the city let him get away with that shit on such an important structure to the city.
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