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Design rendering of Pier 55.

Court Allows Construction of Manhattan’s Pier 55 to Continue

New York State’s Appellate Division has ruled in favor of the Hudson River Park Trust and will allow construction of Pier 55, a cultural pier and public park on Manhattan’s West Side, to continue, Charles V. Bagli of the New York Times reports.

The City Club of New York, a civic group that promotes responsible urban planning, had filed three complaints against the $200 million project, claiming it was harmful to the environment and that the trust was not being transparent with its planning.

The court said that the trust “adequately considered the cumulative impacts” of the project. Barry Diller, media mogul and financier of the pier, said he was happy with the ruling. He added, “I’m sure we’ll continue to be tested.”

City Club’s lawyer, Richard D. Emery, said that he will ask the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, to consider the case. A second lawsuit seeking to overturn the Corps of Engineers’ approval of the project is currently underway as well as a third complaint filed against the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

“The notion that a project of such enormous proportions in a legislatively protected water sanctuary could be rubber-stamped in this perfunctory way degrades all the environmental protections the public deserves, even if they call it a park,” Emery said.

Last week, Diller, who established the nonprofit Pier 55 Inc. and agreed to underwrite the operating costs for the park for twenty years, alleged that developer Douglas Durst was secretly behind the lawsuits being filed against the project, as Artforum.com previously reported.

In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the court’s decision “affirms that Hudson River Park Trust and Pier 55 Inc. appropriately assessed the environmental impacts of the project and conducted a timely, thorough review.” He added, “I look forward to seeing construction move forward, and realizing both the economic and recreational benefits this vital park will bring.”

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