Pier 55 aka “Diller Island” Project Halted by Court Until Appeal is Heard

Pier 55 Proposed Diller IslandSurprise! Finally, some good news on the privatization-forces-are-rarely-transparent-or-in-best-interest-of-the-public front; in this case, from the courts in relation to the Pier 55 project along the Hudson River, designed and set to be funded by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg.

From Crain’s today:

Court halts construction of island park largely funded by Barry Diller
Panel of judges bar further work on the 2.7-acre park until an appeal is heard this fall

An appellate court on Thursday halted construction on Pier 55, a proposed 2.7-acre park that will stand on piles in the Hudson River. Crews had just begun work on the $130 million green space, which is largely funded by media mogul Barry Diller and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.

The opponents, led by the City Club of New York, filed suit in state Supreme Court in June 2015, arguing that the Hudson River Park Trust, the entity that manages and operates the park, did not go through the proper channels to launch the project and didn’t adequately study the potential environmental impacts of Pier 55. While a Manhattan judge tossed out that suit in April, the club appealed. A state appellate court issued a preliminary injunction and ordered work to stop until the case is heard in September and a ruling is handed down.

“The project is significantly imperiled at this point, and we are very happy about that,” said Richard Emery, an attorney at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, who represents the plaintiffs.

“We think this is a project borne of secrecy and deception, and should not be part of the city landscape without a very different approach to getting public and government approvals.”

“Secrecy and deception.” Sound familiar?

Local Community Board 2 did not think that the “secrecy and deception” on the Pier 55 project were problematic which may tell you much of what you need to know about that board. C.B. 2 was quick to avert its collective eyes away from all the evasions and misrepresentations of Washington Square Park conservancy founders also.

At Pier 55, the environmental concerns are significant as well as the precedent that would be set.

It will be interesting to see what happens next when the court hears the arguments in the fall.

Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:

Why the Parks Department “Back-Up Plan” to Barry Diller’s Pier 55 Island Should be the Actual Plan

Photo: Luxigon

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