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The giant island park on the Hudson River takes a big step toward construction

Written by
Clayton Guse

Get your popcorn ready: New York's juiciest real estate drama just took an interesting twist.

The plan for Pier 55, a massive island park that developers are hoping to construct in place of the dilapidated Pier 54 on the Hudson River, was unexpectedly denied in March. The denial came in the form of a federal court ruling, which was the latest twist in a string of lawsuits against the project filed by the City Club of New York. 

The judge ruled that the park, which is being funded largely by billionaire power couple Barry Diller and Diane von Fürstenberg, is not sanctioned in the area because it is a maritime wildlife sanctuary. The land for the project was given to developers by the Hudson River Park Trust for a mere $1 per year, and it was initially slated to open in the fall of 2018

The ruling threw a wrench in those plans. 

But this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio personally urged Douglas Durst, who is financially supporting the lawsuits by the City Club, to change his tune. The New York Times reports that Durst was not initially involved with the legal battle (he was once chairman of Friends of the Hudson River Park) but has recently grown critical of the Hudson River Park Trust and has used his organization's financial resources to drop the suit. 

Whether or not the mayor's conversation swayed Durst is unclear—but it could be a major step in bringing both parties back to the negotiating table and getting the $250 million public space back on track. 

We really couldn't give a hoot about the legal drama—we just want to go hang out on that stunning park. 

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