The price of Honor Tower + its future in Greenville, SC’s Unity Park

Current design rendering of Honor Tower | Image via MKSK

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As we near the opening of phase one of Unity Park on Thurs., May 19, the question remains on when the observation tower, Honor Tower, will be built, how much it will cost, and what it will look like. The tower’s proposed location is between the future Mayberry Field + Meadowbrook Green. Check out the map of the park. 

Late last month, the City proposed allocating $5.5 million in tourism funds from the 2023 budget to match private funds raised for the construction of the tower. However, approval is mixed among community leaders + council members on if the additional funds are warranted

We want your opinion on the topic, but first, let’s look back at how tower plans + costs have changed

Spring 2018: Unity Park is announced + its centerpiece, Honor Tower, is estimated to cost about $10 million

Original design for the observation tower | Rendering via MKSK

Summer 2019: Plans for the tower are pushed to phase two and it is redesigned to cut costs to about $5 million. The new plans reduced the size of the tower from ~120 ft to ~80 ft. The tower will be solely funded by private donations. 

Winter 2021: The tower’s overall cost increases to an estimated $9 million. It’s named “Honor Tower” in honor of Veterans and first responders.

Spring 2022: The City proposes to allot $5.5 million in tourism funds to match private funds raised to construct the tower. The current design is a 7-story tower with construction costs estimated around $11 million.

We mentioned approval is mixed. This article from the Post and Courier Greenville breaks down some of the opinions from city leaders: 

  • The tower is “a crucial feature in the overall vision for the park.”
  • Removing the tower could “dissuade potential donors” + “those who have already pledged funds”.
  • The price of the park has “grown to be exorbitant…” and “future projects [for the park]… need to be at a level that can be 100% privately funded.”
  • One leader says they’re not against spending the money, but would want to “explore other options like a plaza or scaled-down tower.”

The 2023 fiscal year budget will have its first reading and a public hearing on Mon., May 23.

What do you think? Let us know below.