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.
What prompted Diller’s about-face, just a little over a month after he pulled the plug on the project? Governor Andrew Cuomo stepped in, coming to the park’s (and Diller’s) rescue.
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."
The City Club had cited the lack of a proper environmental impact study for years, but Cuomo’s intervention has apparently changed their mind. It’s not exactly clear how Cuomo will “protect the estuary,” but we’ve reached out for a clarification.
“We have had productive conversations and it has been agreed that the legal dispute commenced by the City Club will cease, Pier 55 will go forward, and we will work cooperatively to complete the full vision for the Park,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Before construction can recommence on Pier 55, Diller said the team will have to “reinstate our agreements with the Hudson River Park Trust, with the State and Federal agencies that had given us permits.”
HRPT, for its part, is on board. “After more than six years of painstakingly hard work, it was a tragedy for the public that the project was cancelled last month,” HRPT chair Diana Taylor said in a statement provided to Curbed. “We will work with all stakeholders to figure out a way forward and bring this incredible project to fruition.”