Miami to Get a $300 Million Eco-Adventure Park and Hotel

Miami’s Jungle Island will be receiving a $300 million facelift, which will include a new aerial adventure course with zip lines, animal encounters, water attractions, entertainment and nightlife, and a new hotel.

ESJ Capital Partners (ESJ), an Aventura, FL-based commercial real estate firm, has secured the final approvals necessary to move forward with developing the eco-adventure destination and hotel on 18.5 acres on Miami’s Watson Island. The $300 million project is a “reimagining” of the historic Jungle Island, a zoological theme park and botanical gardens built in 1936 that once boasted the largest and rarest collection of exotic animals and birds. It is located on Watson Island, roughly five minutes from both Downtown Miami and South Beach, surrounded by the blue waters of Biscayne Bay

Set to reopen in mid-2022 as Jungle Island: Miami’s Adventure Oasis, the redesigned park will include the only aerial adventure course in South Florida inclusive of zip lines, ropes courses, bridges and climbing nets suspended up to 60 feet in the treetops; a 19,000-square-foot trampoline park; interactive and hands-on animal nature tours with over 100 species of wild animals (think swimming with capybaras); a 1,200-seat outdoor amphitheater with family- friendly entertainment featuring aerialists and acrobats; dining and nightlife experiences; a Mediterranean-style beach club and cocktail lounge on Miami’s only private beach; and several water rides, including a new 900-foot “lazy river”  that meanders through the park’s animal habitats. 

Joia Beach Club at Jungle Island: Miami's Adventure Oasis

Joia Beach Club at Jungle Island: Miami’s Adventure Oasis

There will also be a new 300-key, family-friendly eco-resort, scheduled to open in late 2024 or early 2025. 

Good to know: In addition to the adventure park and nature attractions, Jungle Island will have more than 10 indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces, catering to small or large groups, ranging from small celebrations to 1,000-plus-person gatherings. 

ESJ plans to begin construction on the new adventure park this summer and will break ground on the new $100 million hotel in 2022, pending a final building permit. 

To lead Jungle Island’s transformation, ESJ has pulled in IDEAS Brand & Experience Design, led by 25-year Disney executive Bob AllenHKS Architects, an interdisciplinary global design firm that recently completed Royal Caribbean’s $250 million redevelopment of CocoCay IslandEoA, an award-winning design firm; Gardiner & Theobald, an independent construction and property consultancy noted for its development of Miami’s Faena District and the $4 billion Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas; and several additional specialists in the field of animal entertainment and education. 

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