Mayor Bill de Blasio says killing Diller Island was a “mistake”

Project can't move forward without private funds

Rendering of Diller Island and Bill de Blasio
Rendering of Diller Island and Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio isn’t happy about the death of Diller Island.

At an unrelated event at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the mayor said efforts to stop Barry Diller’s floating park and performance space — officially called Pier 55 — was a “mistake,” the New York Post reported.

“I think it’s sad that it’s come to this. I think Barry Diller was trying to do something good for New York City and I very much supported this effort,” de Blasio said. “We had a chance here to have someone else’s money pay for a public park in a world where we don’t have enough money in the public sector.”

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Earlier this week, Diller pulled his financial backing from the project, which would’ve replaced the decaying Pier 54 with a 2.7-acre park and amphitheater. Diller cited the project’s escalating costs — which swelled from $35 million when to $250 million — and ongoing legal disputes.

Douglas Durst had backed a group, City Club of New York, that opposed the project. In July, the mayor reportedly phoned Durst to ask that he stop funding the group’s legal challenges.

Without Diller’s funds, or other private financing, the project can’t move forward, the mayor said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to the New York Times, also called the demise of the project “incredibly disappointing.” [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel