October 25, 2017
Albany, NY

Statements from Governor Cuomo, Barry Diller, City Club Founding Member and Counsel Richard Emery, and Douglas Durst on Pier 55

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Statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo:

"The Hudson River Park on Manhattan's West Side is one of the great development projects of our time. It reverses years of urban decline, protects the estuary, and opens the magnificent Hudson to New York's West Side.

"The concept was originally pioneered in 1992 by Governor Mario Cuomo and Mayor David Dinkins. In June 1998, the New York State legislature passed the Hudson River Park Act. Much progress has been made to complete the full vision spanning the Park's five-mile length. The original intent was to complete the Park by 2003.

"A proposal was put forth by Mr. Barry Diller to construct an architecturally significant park on Pier 55 funded through the Diller family's foundation. The plan was pursued for over six years and promised a spectacular addition to the waterfront. Unfortunately, there was litigation that prevented the project from moving forward and it was recently announced that plans for the project would be aborted. I consider this a lost opportunity for all New Yorkers.

"I have spoken to the parties involved in the lawsuit against Pier 55 and expressed my belief that cooperative efforts to complete the overall Park are more constructive than litigation and stalemate. I believe all parties have a higher goal and desire that the Park should be completed, and can be completed, in the near future. It is my hope that if the people of the State of New York grant me an additional term of office, that the Park should be completed in that time period. I also expressed my belief that the opposition to Pier 55 was ultimately counterproductive, and that I would like to see a positive, constructive effort with all concerned parties moving forward.

"We have had productive conversations and it has been agreed that the legal dispute commenced by the City Club will cease, Pier 55 will go forward, and we will work cooperatively to complete the full vision for the Park.

"Given the change in circumstances, I have asked Mr. Diller to consider proceeding with the Pier 55 project as his concept could be an important and lasting legacy. I know Mr. Diller's intent was to create a space that would benefit future generations. I applaud his philanthropy and motives and believe the dream is still within his grasp."

Statement from Barry Diller, Chairman and Senior Executive, IAC:

"In the last month, I have been the recipient of so much importuning, from so many people, all with the same sentiment: They all express their hope that we not give up and instead find some way to proceed with building Pier 55. Letters, calls, emails, texts - and just walking the streets of New York - I have had countless people tell me how much they were looking forward to having this new Pier, and how unfortunate were the circumstances of its cancellation. This has all had a profound effect on me and my family. So many people had worked for six years to create both the concept and the plans for the Pier. In these last weeks, I began to think that we should not let it go, and that I would try to put aside the disappoints and difficulties of these last years.

"The Governor has informed me that the City Club litigation will not be pursued if I go forward, and that is an important factor and welcomed news.

"So, I'm going to make one last attempt to revive the plans to build the Park, so that the intended beneficiaries of our endeavor can fall in love with Pier 55 in the way all of us have. We'll need to reinstate our agreements with the Hudson River Park Trust, with the State and Federal agencies that had given us permits, our contractors, andwe'll need to know that the plaintiffs will not reinstate their litigation. And with all that, we'll joyfully proceed."

Statement from Richard Emery, Founding Member and Counsel for the City Club of New York

"On behalf of the plaintiffs City Club, Tom Fox and Rob Buchanan, the completion of Hudson River Park and the protection of the Estuary have always been of utmost importance to the entire environmental, civic and preservation community. Today's historic commitment by Governor Cuomo to finish the Park and protect the Estuary is a great victory for park users and all New Yorkers. In that spirit, we will not litigate against Pier 55 and will work with the Governor to realize his visionary plan for completion of the Hudson River Park and for protection of the Hudson River."

Statement from Douglas Durst:  

"My goal has always been the completion of the Park and the protection of the Hudson River. Today's agreement is a major step in that direction. I applaud the Governor for his leadership, vision and achievements in rebuilding New York State and his commitment to Hudson River Park."

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Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office