Miami residents to vote on Jungle Island lease extension, redevelopment

Referendum will be placed on August ballot

Rendering of the hotel at Jungle Island
Rendering of the hotel at Jungle Island

Jungle Island’s proposed lease extension and hotel development will go to city of Miami voters in August.

The Miami City Commission on Friday unanimously approved putting the referendum on the August ballot. ESJ Capital Partners is leasing the land at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail. The hotel would be limited to 300 rooms and 130 feet tall.

The proposed lease extension protects the city from delays by giving Jungle Island four years to receive a master building permit and six years to complete construction of the hotel, according to the Miami Herald. Critics cited Flagstone Island Gardens as an example of a project that has taken too long.

In the agreement approved by commissioners on Friday, Jungle Island will set aside $100,000 for an affordable housing fund if the referendum passes in August and an additional $35,000 a year starting in 2021.

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ESJ would pay $250,000 in annual rent for its first three years of operations. After that, rent would rise to $1.22 million, or 5 percent of total gross revenue.

Jungle Island closed its doors to the public after a tornado tore through the property during Hurricane Irma in September, toppling hundreds of trees and causing damage.

The first phase of redevelopment, which does not include the hotel, calls for a trampoline park, an aerial play and rope course experience, an outdoor skydiving wind tunnel, escape rooms, a beach restaurant, a zip-line experience, a Crystal Lagoon, and a lazy river.

ESJ is investing between $18 million and $22 million into the park’s upgrades between now and 2020, the developer previously said. The hotel would also be privately financed by ESJ. [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis