June 18, 2017 | Jungle Island is getting a full renovation: an action-adventure parkJune 26, 2017
The plan, thanks to financial support from new owners ESJ Capital Partners, an Aventura-based asset management firm, is touted as a reinvention of the cash-strapped animal park. Owners hope it will relieve Jungle Island of the financial burdens that have choked its growth in the past and allow it to gain renewed relevance. The park has not yet revealed the sticker price for the renovations, but the acquisition of the park, including the assumption of about $45 million in debt, cost ESJ $60 million.
The renovation will be the second metamorphosis for the nearly 81-year-old park. Dunlap’s vision calls for an even more dramatic transformation than it underwent in 2003, when the beloved park moved from its original subtropical location in Pinecrest on Red Road to a swatch of land built out of a landfill from Biscayne Bay — Watson Island.