The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced plans to build a new $32 million animal handling and cargo facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
The 172,165sqft centre will handle roughly 70,000 domestic and wild animals annually, and operate 24 hours a day for worldwide import and export needs.
Dubbed ARK, the new animal handling facility, will offer a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, animal daycare services and more efficient ways to transport animals worldwide, including exotic species.
Meanwhile, the Port Authority has estimated that the centre will create 190 jobs, $12.3 million in wages and $50.5 million in economic activity over the next 20 years.
ARK Development LLC will take over the currently vacant ‘Building 78’ at JFK International Airport as well as 14.4 acres of ground area as part of a 20-year lease.
The company is expected to invest approximately $30 million in the 108,650 square-foot main centre and another $2 million in a 63,515 square-foot cargo handling facility.
The Port Authority anticipates receiving more than $108 million in rent over the lease term, consisting of fixed rent and revenue-sharing percentage fees.
When finished, the centre will include a three-day equine quarantine area, dog and cat kenneling and grooming services, an aviary, lawn space for exercising animals and a veterinary hospital and rehabilitation centre for horses and other large animals.
David Samson, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said: “The Port Authority is proud to partner with ARK to make air travel at JFK more humane for animals and convenient for pet owners.
“ARK, our private sector partner, will invest $32 million that will result in a world-class animal handling facility and establish a preeminent equine medical and surgical practice.”
Scott Rechler, vice chair of the Port Authority, added: “The project also will turn this unused building back into a profitable operation that will earn the agency more than $100 million over the next two decades.”
Additionally, ARK is in extended negotiations with Cornell’s veterinary school, which would serve as the consultant on the project and the operator of the large animal hospital.