Passport required? $48M animal handling facility set for JFK

Space will provide accommodation for racehorses, pets and livestock

JFK International Airport, inset: John J. Cuticelli
JFK International Airport, inset: John J. Cuticelli

ARK Development signed a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop a $48 million animal handling facility. The structure will temporarily accommodate and provide medical services to thoroughbred racehorses, livestock and both exotic and common pets that are passing through.

The Real Deal previously reported on the project, but at that time the lease was thought to be 20 years.

The 178,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016 and will be the world’s only privately owned airport animal handling operation. The project is expected to generate more than 180 jobs and $108 million in revenue for the Port Authority over 30 years, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The lease is the result of more than three years of negotiations between government agencies, private and public financing and designers specializing in projects for animals, said John Cuticelli, Jr, chairman of Racebrook Capital Advisors LLC, the parent company of ARK Development.

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Build NYC Resource Corp. is financing the project with conduit bonds underwritten by Goldman Sachs Corp. The center will replace Vetport, an older animal handling facility at JFK that closed at the end of 2014.

Gensler, GH2 Gralla Equine Architects and Grandin Livestock Handling Systems Inc. are the project’s architects. [WSJ] — Tess Hofmann