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“Floating” park in the Hudson River gets the green light

By
Howard Halle
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It is an axiom in New York that whenever a major project for the city is announced, someone will sue to stop it. That’s just how things go. And so it’s been for the “floating” park that will sit just off Hudson River Park at Pier 55. The brainchild of media mogul Barry Diller (who's earmarking $113 million for it out of his own pocket), the park doesn’t actually float. Rather, it sits on a series of lily-pad shaped piers that raise out of the water at varying levels to create an undulating island landscape that pretty much everyone agrees looks really cool. Everyone, that is, except for The City Club.

In June of 2015, The Club filed suit with the State Supreme Court in Manhattan to halt progress on the park, claiming it had been planned secretively to avoid public scrutiny over the project’s adverse impact on the Hudson River’s delicate ecology. The suit demanded a Environmental Impact Statement and also called into question the way that the Hudson River Park Trust, which oversees the plan, awarded contracts for construction.

This week, an a panel of judges from the Manhattan Appellate Division called bullshit on The City Club, giving the park a green light to proceed. As reported by The Daily News, the judges ruled that The City Club had no authority to challenge the Trust on either the park’s construction or its earlier determination that the proposal posed no environmental hazard. Work will now resume towards a scheduled 2018 opening.

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