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Pier 55 To Begin Construction This Summer After Getting Army Corps Approval

By Ben Fractenberg | April 27, 2016 4:37pm

MANHATTAN — The Barry Diller-backed Pier 55 island park is set to begin construction this summer after the Army Corps of Engineers approved its permit, project organizers announced Wednesday.

Construction of the $130 million, 2.7-acre park off West 13th Street is expected to start in early summer and last through the end of 2018, officials said — after a judge dismissed a lawsuit on April 7 brought by environmental and civic advocates to block the project.

“Hudson River Park Trust and Barry Diller have envisioned and planned another jewel in the crown for New York City," U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement. 

The island park had sparked ire from some in the community, including a coalition of advocates that sued the city to halt the project. Opponents, including The City Club of New York and environmental studies professor Rob Buchanan, argued that the Hudson River Park Trust was improperly using parkland because more than half the events would require an admission fee.

But the lawsuit was thrown out by Judge Joan Lobis, who wrote in her decision that “a significant purpose of maintaining event spaces in the Park is to generate funds for the ongoing upkeep of the Park, which is surely a park purpose.”

The park, which was designed by architect Signe Nielsen, will feature a 700-person amphitheater.

Hudson River Park Trust President & CEO Madelyn Wils said the park will reconstruct Pier 54 “in a way that would be respectful of the environment.”

City Club President Michael Gruen said they filed an appeal, and also filed another lawsuit against the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

“We want to be sure that nothing happens before the litigation has run its course and there is a final determination going one way or the other," Gruen told DNAinfo New York.