ESJ Capital Partners Finalizes Acquisition of Jungle Island in Miami

With a $60 Million Acquisition, ESJ Will Develop and Enhance South
Florida’s Landmark Jungle Island into an Eco-Adventure Destination

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#JungleIsland–ESJ Capital Partners, a full-service asset management firm based in
Aventura, Florida, today announced its latest acquisition – Jungle
Island – the 18-acre landmark attraction located on Watson Island in
Miami, Florida.

The $60 million transaction includes transfer of the existing lease on
the City of Miami-owned Watson Island to ESJ, along with assuming
existing park debt to the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

ESJ will be enhancing the park through a three-part renovation and
expansion, as well as opening a private beach club. The initial phase,
to debut this summer, will include zip lines that will allow riders
panoramic views of the Miami skyline and the park, children adventures,
water slides and crystal lagoon. Enhancements to the park’s popular
banquet facilities and upgrades to food and beverage will also be

The phased multi-million dollar renovation, expected to take two years
to complete, will focus on upgrading the park’s offerings and further
re-focus Jungle Island as an eco-adventure destination.

“We are considering the development of different renewable energy
facilities at the park which will enhance the guests’ active and
educational experience and help us come closer to energy independence,”
said Elie Mimoun, COO of ESJ Capital Partners.

Jungle Island will continue to be managed by John Dunlap of Iconic
Attractions Group (IAG), the San Diego-based company currently
responsible for its operations and day-to-day administrations.

Current employees of Jungle Island will become employees of IAG, and all
current positions will be retained. Moreover, IAG anticipates more jobs
to be created when these attractions materialize.

“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Jungle
Island, which has been an important part of the South Florida community
for 80 years,” said Arnaud Sitbon, President and Co-Founder of ESJ
Capital Partners. “It has been a pleasure working with the existing
ownership, specifically Bern Levine, who has done so much to ensure that
visitors to our area and residents alike can enjoy this iconic
attraction. As a world-class destination, we believe that Jungle Island
is uniquely positioned for continued reinvention, innovation and growth,
and look forward to successfully achieving these objectives.”

“We share ESJ Capital Partners’ vision for the continued evolution of
Jungle Island and look forward to implementing all the different
attractions,” added John Dunlap, CEO of Iconic Attractions Group and
President of Jungle Island. “This acquisition is the beginning of a new
chapter for the park, and will redefine Jungle Island as South Florida’s
preeminent eco-adventure destination.”

Jungle Island, previously Parrot Jungle, was founded in 1936. A group
led by Bern Levine purchased the facility in 1988 when it was still
located in the Miami-Dade County suburb of Pinecrest. Levine moved the
attraction and opened Jungle Island in 2003 on Watson Island along the
MacArthur Causeway.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capitalize on the heritage
of Parrot Jungle, then Jungle Island, and create a truly unique
experience within an urban setting,” concludes Gabriel Amiel, Chairman
and co-Founder of ESJ Capital Partners.

About ESJ Capital Partners

Founded in 2008, ESJ Capital Partners (“ESJ”) an SEC regulated
Investment Advisor identifies, acquires, finances and manages
investments acquired by the ESJ Funds. Headquartered in Aventura,
Florida. ESJ has extensive experience in real estate and private equity
with investments in excess of $600 million and over three million square
feet under management. ESJ is well-rooted in the Florida market with a
national portfolio of apartments, medical offices, and one of the
largest developers of Charter Schools in the Country, that offer a
value-added asset management approach to redevelopment and repositioning
of assets. For more information, please visit

About Jungle Island

Jungle Island, a favorite South Florida landmark, is an intimate
attraction located in the heart of Miami, between downtown and South
Beach. Building upon a rich tradition that began in 1936, Jungle Island
enriches the lives of park visitors through immersive experiences
centered on adventure, animals, discovery and play. From
behind-the-scenes VIP tours, unforgettable interactions with some of the
world’s most fascinating animals, three engaging shows and wild
adventure camps, Jungle Island offers guests a variety of real-life
jungle experiences. With its signature Treetop Ballroom and picturesque
outdoor spaces including a private beach, the 18-acre park also serves
as Miami’s destination for extraordinary events. Discover Jungle Island
today. Follow @JungleIsland on social media or visit


Kreps DeMaria
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