Yes, the Bronx tower in planning phase

Architect Kevin Kennon (l) and Yes president Alex Diacou, with an artist’s rendering of the YES the Bronx Observation Tower. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Motorists, bike riders, and pedestrians may someday see a tall structure not unlike the Seattle Space Needle rising up from near the Willis Avenue Bridge, welcoming outsiders and residents to the new and exciting Bronx.

In a press conference held in Riverdale on Wednesday, October 22, Assemblyman Jose Rivera and the New York District Council of Carpenters were on hand to endorse the Yes the Bronx campaign to build a 176-foot tower with event space for 500 people and observation deck at the top. The construction cost is estimated at $25 million.

While the exact location for the Yes the Bronx Observation Tower has yet to be determined, and the fund raising for the project has only just begun, the builders expect the tower to rise somewhere east of the Willis Avenue Bridge.

“For people coming from the Tri-borough Bridge, this will be an instant symbol of the Bronx,” said Kevin Kennon, the architect for the project. “I always saw the Bronx as a vibrant community, so if we can take that community spirit and lift it up into the air, it would literally be keeping the community up.”

The building is to be entirely constructed of recycled materials that have their origins in the Bronx, making it a true Bronx structure. The tower will be about 20 stories tall, and feature a 80’ by 80’ observation deck where locals can enjoy the view of the Bronx, Manhattan, and beyond.

Alec Diacou, chairman of the non-profit corporation run by volunteers, called Yes the Bronx, that is bringing the project forward, said that he hopes the Yes the Bronx Observation Tower will shatter negative stereotypes of the borough he calls home.

“The Bronx has a brand name that often resonates elsewhere in a very negative way,” Diacou said. “The brand name is very powerful, but unfortunately negative. We have the opportunity with this project to flip that image around.”

The Yes the Bronx fundraising campaign will include a public-private partnership that will include city, state, and non-governmental funds.

Yes the Bronx is an organization dedicated to honoring the work Bronx citizens do for their community and shattering negative stereotypes about the borough. Yes the Bronx wants national attention to focus Americans on what Bronxites already know: the Bronx is beautiful and booming.

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