The $100 million (£54 million) project, by the newly formed SMC Alsop, aims to radically transform a derelict power-station site abandoned during the 1960s.
At the heart of the redevelopment will be a new 25-storey residential tower with its own wind turbine. There are also plans to build a red museum block at the base of the tower next to the empty plant, originally designed to power electric trains running into New York's Grand Central Station in the early 20th century.
It is hoped the scheme, for developer the REMI Corporation, will 'introduce new life' into the neglected waterfront area next to Glenwood station.
Yonkers, dubbed 'the backyard of The Bronx', is best known as the birthplace of actor James Cagney.
Landscape architect Martha Schwartz is also working on the project, due for completion in 2008.