How Barry Diller’s Pier 55 project finally went overboard

The media mogul's family staged an “intervention” with him

New York /
Sep.September 25, 2017 02:30 PM

UPDATED, Sept. 25, 5:39 p.m.: Earlier this month — after years of legal disputes and around $40 million in pre-construction costs — Barry Diller officially declared Pier 55 dead.

At the time, the billionaire said “huge escalating costs” and “ongoing controversy” were the reasons he canceled the project. Now, a report from the New York Times throws more light on Diller’s decision to end the six-year saga that had engulfed his pet project, known as Diller Island.

“My family essentially had an intervention with me in the last couple of weeks to say, ‘We’ve watched you be stressed and tortured by something that was only meant to be a good thing,’” the billionaire media mogul told the Times. “Then my family said, ‘Don’t you think we should use our resources where they’re wanted?’”

He added he’d become “disillusioned” about the island in Spring, when a U.S. District Court judge ruled wok on the park had to stop because the Army Corps of Engineers had not properly considered the site a protected fish and wildlife sanctuary when issuing its original permit. Developer and fellow billionaire Douglas Durst had admitted earlier this year that he was bankrolling the lawsuits against the park.

A new permit that was eventually issued meant construction could move ahead.  But Diller officially pulled his support for the project on Sept. 12.

The lawyer for the the park’s opponents Richard Emery said he was shocked Diller pulled out, and suggested to the Times that the Whitney Museum’s proposed floating art installation nearby was the reason he pulled the project. He was angry, Emery said, that the Hudson River Park Trust didn’t tell him about the proposal.

However, Diller said he didn’t find out about the installation until after he decided to drop his plans, so it had no weight on the decision.

A spokesperson for the trust told The Real Deal, “The idea that the demise of Pier55 had anything to do with the Whitney proposal — and that the Trust somehow concealed that proposal from Mr. Diller — is absolute nonsense.” [NYT]Miriam Hall

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Washington Prime Group CEO Lou Conforti (Twitter)
Washington Prime Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Washington Prime Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Renderings of Greenpoint Landing in Greenpoint, 141 Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn and 45-57 Davis Street in Long Island City (Photos via OMA, SLCE Architects and J Frankl Architects)
These were the top outer-borough loans in May
These were the top outer-borough loans in May
A rendering of the project at 1 Park Row in the Financial District. (Winick)
L.A.-based lender puts FiDi project into construction with $90M loan
L.A.-based lender puts FiDi project into construction with $90M loan
The New York Life Sciences and Biotechnology Center at First Avenue and 41st Street (NY Life Sciences)
Life sciences leasing breaks annual record in five months
Life sciences leasing breaks annual record in five months
The commercial market was hit hard by the pandemic, and property tax revenue is expected to fall 5 percent. (iStock)
Tax bills show how much Covid devalued NYC real estate
Tax bills show how much Covid devalued NYC real estate
Richard Segal of Seavest Investment Group, David Marx of Marx Development Group and 902 Quentin Road in Brooklyn (Photos via Seavest Investment Group, Marx Development Group and VRMNY)
Westchester firm buys $54M Brooklyn medical building
Westchester firm buys $54M Brooklyn medical building
Hartz Mountain Industries CEO Leonard Stern and 235 Pinelawn Road (Google Maps, Hartz Mountain)
Warehouse developer accused of violating “Long Island First” policy
Warehouse developer accused of violating “Long Island First” policy
Real Estate EFTs See Investment Amid Pandemic Recovery
Why investors are rushing into real estate ETFs
Why investors are rushing into real estate ETFs
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...