The Real Deal New York

Like a Greek god, Barry Diller has commanded an island into existence

Construction at the Hudson River park will begin this summer

April 27, 2016 04:00PM

Rendering of the island park (inset: Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg)

Rendering of the island park (inset: Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg)

UPDATED: April 27, 4:42 p.m.: The island park on the Hudson River funded by Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg, years in the making, is finally set to break underwater ground.

The planned 2.7-acre park built on pilings in the river received the last in a long series of official nods, this time from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. The Hudson River Park trust, the entity overseeing the project, is now set to proceed with construction, which will begin this Summer, Crain’s reported.

Pier55 first announced in 2014 – will feature rolling green hills, an open-air stage and a separate large events space beside the Meatpacking District.

Barry Diller, head of InterActiveCorp, Expedia and the former chairman of Paramount Pictures, contributed $113 million to build the park, along with his wife, fashion designer Diane Von Fürstenberg. The Hudson River Park Trust kicked in $39.5 million as well.

Some have taken to calling the planned park “Barry Diller Island” and “Barry Diller on the Hudson,” but the Trust’s CEO Madelyn Wils has insisted the project is a serious and responsible contribution to the city’s public infrastructure.

“Far from a billionaire’s do-what-I-please, public-be-damned fantasy island, Pier 55 is the culmination of a deliberate, collaborative planning process,” she wrote in Crain’s last year. [Crain’s]Ariel Stulberg

Correction: Based on an error in the source article, a previous version of this post misstated the start date for construction of Pier 55. It is the summer. 

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