Barry Diller, the media mogul and former head of Fox and Paramount Pictures, has ambitious plans to add a slice of paradise to New York City, the Hudson River Park Trust announced Monday.
Diller, who currently serves as chairman and senior executive of media company IAC/InterActiveCorp and travel company Expedia, wants to build a $170 million, 2.7-acre park, dubbed Pier 55 on the Hudson River. It will be built near 14th Street and located 186 feet away from the shoreline accessible via a bridge.
Diller is donating $130 million through the foundation he runs with wife Diane von Furstenberg, the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The rest of the money will be raised through the city, state and the Hudson River Park Trust.
The plans for the park include a structure resting on 300 concrete pylons. It needs approval from the Army Corp of Engineers and New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation first.
Construction may begin as soon as 2016.
“I have always loved public spaces,” Diller told the New York Times. “It’s entirely my fault that this has become so ambitious. We will fail in our ambition, outsized or whatever it may be, if this doesn’t feel completely like a park and completely like a performance space.”
“We are so lucky as a family that we get to do this,” he said in a statement. “If the Pier when completed is anywhere as much sheer fun, strife, stimulation and joy as it has been conceptualizing it … then it will exceed my wildest expectations.”
There will be three performance venues on the park, including a large space able to seat 1,000 people, along with 2,500 on a lawn.
The plan has the support of both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio: “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 Gov. Cuomo in a statement.
“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.
Von Furstenberg has also been vocal in her support of the project. “New York has always reminded me of Venice, so I am happy the time has come to properly honor its waterways,” said von Furstenberg “What better than a park on the city’s western bank to rest, watch a sunset or a performance?”
This article has been updated with additional information.