Governor Cuomo Saved the Hudson River Floating Park

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It’s back. Photo: Courtesy of Pier 55 Inc

Just six weeks after billionaire Barry Diller scrapped plans to build a 2.7-acre floating park on the Hudson River, Governor Andrew Cuomo has swooped in and saved the project.

The governor said in a statement Wednesday that he’s brokered a compromise between the Hudson River Park Trust, which was overseeing the $250 million project, and the City Club of New York, its main opposition, which was reportedly bankrolled by Diller’s fellow billionaire Douglas Durst.

“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.

First proposed in 2014, the Pier 55 park, or “Diller Island,” was the idea of Diller and his wife, the fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. The couple planned to contribute $130 million to the project, which called for replacing the decrepit pier with a green space and performance areas sitting on more than 300 concrete pylons jutting up from the river.

In a statement Wednesday, Diller celebrated the agreement to move ahead with the park. “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,” he said.

“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.”

Governor Cuomo Saved the Hudson River Floating Park