The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) and The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation announced plans to turn Pier 54 on the lower west side into a public park and performance.
To be called Pier 55, the project will replace the deteriorated pier and be funded primarily by the Diller –von Furstenberg family, which has established a new nonprofit, named Pier55, Inc. (P55). to build and operate the pier in co-operation with HRPT.
Construction of the 2.7-acre space is expected to start in 2016 at a cost in excess of $130 million, to which the City of New York will contribute $17 million.
Separately, New York State will provide $18 million for the construction of an expanded public esplanade that will run from Bloomfield Street to 14th Street.
Under a 20-year lease, P55 will fund the programming, operations and day-to-day maintenance of the pier, including landscape, lighting and other park amenities.
P55 will oversee all of the pier’s programming while HRPT will maintain the park as it does all of the public piers in Hudson River Park.
Pier55 will be open the same hours as the rest of Hudson River Park, and, through the lease, P55 is committed to providing maximum public access, including during most performances.
“New York City’s waterfront provides tremendous opportunities for everything from tourism to outdoor recreation, and Pier55 is the perfect example of how we can tap into that resource to build a more enjoyable city for all,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
“Building this new pier will greatly improve the Hudson River Parkland, and I thank the Diller – von Furstenberg family for their generosity and vision in the pursuit of a better New York.”
“Hudson River Park has become a destination for millions of New Yorkers from across all five boroughs,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The revitalization and transformation of this pier into a vibrant arts and community space will bring new energy and new visitors to our waterfront. We are deeply appreciative of the generosity of great New Yorkers like Mr. Diller and Ms. von Furstenberg without whom this visionary project would not have been possible.”
P55 and HRPT have enlisted design firm Heatherwick Studio and landscape architect Mathews Nielsen. The pier will have places to lounge, eat lunch, or just lie in the grass. The park’s undulating topography will provide a natural viewing area for the new performance space.
The new pier will be will be constructed between the pile fields of Pier 54 and Pier 56, which will remain in order to provide a fish habitat.
The proposed lease must be approved by the HRPT Board of Directors. Prior to that vote, HRPT will undertake a mandatory 60-day public review and comment period. The project will also be presented at a December meeting of Community Board 2.Mike Novogratz, chair of the Friends of Hudson River Park, said, “This is a great example of how Big Philanthropy can make a real difference.”