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Jungle Island To Ask Miami To Approve Hotel Development

Posted by Kevin Krueger on May 4, 2018
  • The owners of Jungle Island want to build a family-friendly hotel at the Watson Island theme park
  • On May 24, park owner ESJ Capital Partners will ask the Miami City Commission to put a referendum on the August ballot that would ask voters to approve the development of a hotel of up to 130 feet tall with up to 300 rooms.
  • would include an extension of Jungle Island’s lease with the city, rezoning to allow the hotel, and the financial terms of the agreement.
  • “We will create a hotel that really enhances the skyline in a way consistent with botanical nature of the park,” said John Dunlap, CEO of Iconic Attractions and president of Jungle Island. “Our intent is to keep families in Miami and staying with us.”
  • Jungle Island would pay an additional $250,000 in rent initially and, upon completion of the hotel, pay the greater of $1.15 million or 5 percent of hotel revenue. Jungle Island would also contribute $700,000 to the nearby Ichimura-Miami Japanese Garden and $500,000 to the city’s low-income housing fund.
  • ESJ Capital Partners acquired Jungle Island for $60 million in 2017.
  • Jungle Island aims to reopen on Memorial Day weekend with scheduled tours of part of the park with close-up animal encounters
  • During the summer, a Tree Walk Village will open with a ropes course and tree houses. Later in the year, there will be a new playground, pool, Flow Rider wave machine, outdoor skydiving experience, indoor trampoline park, escape rooms and a zip line. The final piece, a man-made crystal lagoon, should open in summer 2019.

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