Barry Diller Pulls Plug on Plans for $250M Floating Island on Hudson River

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Hudson River apartments

Mired in years of legal disputes, the project would have created a park built on pedestals off of Pier 55 at 13th Street.

Barry Diller's dream of creating a futuristic, floating $250 million island on the Hudson River, which would have served as a park and performance center, is now dead.

"Because of the huge escalating costs and the fact it would have been a continuing controversy over the next three years, I decided it was no longer viable for us to proceed," Diller said during an interview with The New York Times, which was published Wednesday.

The project would have created a park off of Pier 55 at 13th Street, but it has been mired in controversy and is at the center of an ongoing legal dispute that pitted Diller against a local group known as the City Club of New York and super developer Douglas Durst. In May, it was revealed that Durst was secretly helping to fund the group's legal actions against the project.

"The reason I did not want my name involved is, I did not want this to be a personal battle between me and Barry Diller," Durst told The Villager. "I have nothing against Diller — except he said he wishes I had been killed by my brother." Durst was referring to his troubled brother, Robert, who is a suspect in three murders.

The plan, which was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, called for the creation of a green space supported by mushroom piers with a large 200-seat amphitheater and two other landscaped performance spaces. But in addition to the legal issues, the project's costs ballooned from $35 million to more than $250 million in the last six years. Pier 55 has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.

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