The lawsuit blocking the construction of Pier 55 has been thrown out

Construction on the $130 million project can now proceed as planned.

October 27, 2016 |

Rendering courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Pier 55, a 2.7 acre park rising above the Hudson River on Manhattan’s lower west side, can move forward without hesitation as the New York Court of Appeals has denied City Club of New York’s motion for leave.

The park, whose construction is being privately funded by Diane Von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, has been embroiled in a legal battle almost from the moment of its conception.

The City Club brought forth the lawsuit arguing that just because the project is being privately funded, that doesn’t mean the basic rules of environmental review, public involvement, and the need for competitive bidding can be ignored. City Club also takes issue with the fact that the park will sit atop 550 piles and rise as high as seven stories above the water, fully obscuring a wide-open view of the Hudson.


City Club’s brief focused on the following issues:

  • Failure to do an environmental impact statement
  • Failure to study cumulative impacts of two related projects, Piers 55 and 57
  • Failure to obtain competitive bids
  • Failure to comply with legislation to allow reconstruction of Pier 54
  • Failure to apply the public trust doctrine, particularly to ensure open public access


City Club says it got into the case because the project illustrates a city-is-for-sale mentality, is illegal under the terms of the Park Act, and bypassed environmental protection laws.

However, the most recent ruling from the Appellate Division may be the end of the lawsuit once and for all, as the Court of Appeals was one of the group’s final avenues for delaying the project, Curbed New York reports.

In a statement, Hudson River Park Trust President & CEO Madelyn Wils referred to the lawsuit as “ill-conceived” while expressing excitement over being able to continue construction on “one of the city’s most spectacular new public spaces.”


Rendering courtesy of Heatherwick Studio


Rendering courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

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