The Hudson River Park Trust recently approved of a $130m plan for the construction of a new park on Pier 55. Plans for the pier were strongly supported by billionaire Barry Diller and fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg.
The location will feature a floating park rising from the river, occupying 2.7 acres. The floating park, to be located at West 14th Street, will greatly modernize the local landscape. The park and pier are set to be completed in 2019. Famed architect Thomas Heatherwick was chosen as the designer for the upcoming futuristic park.
A major attraction of the upcoming pier’s park will be an amphitheater, which will offer a variety of performances for the public. Mr. Diller has signed up to contribute more than a $100m to the project and is to fund the maintenance for 20 years.
The construction of the pier has generated some controversy as some residents feel that it symbolizes another real estate claim in the city by a major organization. To ease the tension, the Hudson River Park Trust plans to include local residents and most likely Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer on a community advisory board. Community Board 2 will also have a voice, with the Hudson River Park Trust considering noise levels that will affect the surrounding residents.
Another concern for residents is that the park will often be closed to the public for private events. That fear was dispelled once it was revealed that the lease stipulates that the pier cannot be closed more than five times a month to the public.
Once the finalizations are made, groundbreaking is expected to happen in 2016.
– by Alejandro Ramos