The latest effort to halt construction on the Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg-funded Pier 55 park did not pass muster with the court. On Thursday, the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan dismissed the latest lawsuit brought by the City Club of New York against the project.
"The Trust took the requisite "hard look" anticipated adverse environmental impacts and provided a "reasoned elaboration" for the negative declaration and its determination was not arbitrary and capricious, unsupported by evidence or a violation of law," part of the judgement read.
The City Club's main contention against the project and the Hudson River Park Trust had been that the park should have been subjected to a full Environmental Impact Statement and not just a state Environment Assessment Form.
The lawyer representing the City Club, Richard Emery issued the following statement:
"I am disappointed with the Appellate Division’s ruling. If followed, it means that the legislatively mandated protections for the Hudson River have been substantially degraded by this monster project that has avoided proper environmental review. We will pursue our further remedies in the New York Court of Appeals and in federal court, where we have a case pending."
In the meantime, construction can resume on the $130 million project. City Club already has a case against the park pending in federal court, and it remains to be seen when the Court of Appeals will decide to take on this case, according to Crain’s.
"This was a ridiculous lawsuit from the start, so we're pleased by today's swift and sweeping decision," Madelyn Wils, the president and CEO of Hudson River Park Trust, said in a statement. "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."
Construction on the 2.7-acre park has been contentious right from the start and it was recently revealed that real estate tycoon Douglas Durst may be funding City Club’s legal fight against the HRPT.