Primary backer Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActive Corporation, announced the decision yesterday, citing ballooning costs and gear-halting legal worries. Initially estimated in 2011 to cost $35 million, the project had reached a $250 million price tag due to the complexity of the design and unforeseen environmental and legal concerns.
“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,” said Mr. Diller said in an interview with the New York Times.
The decision was applauded by park opponents including the City Club of New York, but lamented by the majority of the public opinion, including the Hudson River Park Trust and high profile figures such as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Chuck Schumer.
“For such a small group of people to hold up a public and philanthropic project that would benefit so many is just awful,” commented Schumer.
The announcement also marks the second high profile bridge park designed by Heatherwick to meet its demise, following the official scrapping of London’s Garden Bridge project in August.
Construction on Heatherwick Studio’s undulating Pier 55 in New York has come to a screeching halt, following a ruling by a United States District Court judge last week that will require the project to undergo an intense wildlife impact review. Last April, the U.S.
Billionaire Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp and former head of Paramount Pictures and Fox, has commissioned Thomas Heatherwick to design a $170 million ” futuristic park ” on Manhattan’s lower west side.