Bloomberg's Girlfriend Joins Hudson River Park Board to Raise Millions

By Mathew Katz on April 9, 2012 4:04pm 

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and girlfriend Diana Taylor attend the game between the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden March 18, 2009 in New York City.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and girlfriend Diana Taylor attend the game between the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden March 18, 2009 in New York City.
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Chris McGrath/Getty Images

CHELSEA — The mayor's girlfriend, Diana Taylor, will be doing double duty for Hudson River Park.

She's joining its fundraising organization in a push to raise millions for the massive West Side greenspace project — in addition to being chair of the trust that runs the park itself.

The Friends of Hudson River Park added Taylor to its board as part of six heavyweight appointments with the goal of raising the cash to help run the waterfront park, and possibly even levy a tax on people living near it.

Longer-term, the Friends hope to get the cash together to complete the park — at a cost of roughly $200 million for a series of capital projects.

Advocates say park usage has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, but its maintenance and operating budgets have remained flat. The park also needs millions of dollars to complete work on several piers, including Pier 26 and Pier 57, along with repairs to damaged Piers 40 and 81.

Other appointees included Australian actress Deborra-Lee Jackman, the wife of actor Hugh Jackman, Scott Lawin, the managing director and COO of Moore Capital Management, Mitchell Rudin, the president and CEO of Brookfield Properties, Alexandra Tosi, executive director of recruiting firm Gilbert Tweed Associates, and hedge fund magnate Paul Ullman.

"I am excited to be joining the work of the Friends’ board to grow the resource base of the Park," said Taylor, who has served as the chairwoman of the Hudson River Park Trust since 2007, in a statement.

"A diverse and expanded board is essential as we seek to cultivate a new generation of park supporters."

Vivian Liao, a spokeswoman for the Friends, said the appointment of Taylor will help both organizations work together to bring in fundraising dollars.

"This represents a closer alliance between the Trust and Friends of Hudson River Park," she said.

"This is to secure [the park's] future, working with both state and city officials."

The appointments come after the park has taken a new private fundraising-heavy direction, using the wildly successful Friends of the High Line as an example. The Friends of Hudson River Park recently brought on Blake Beatty as director of development. Beatty spent the past five years raising cash for the 9/11 Memorial.

Both organizations have also commissioned a 30-member task force to find new revenue-generating uses along the park, which is expected to release a report on its findings in May.

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