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Jungle Island complete makeover and renderings

Jungle Island $60 million sale that will bring lagoon, zip lines and complete makeover

New rendering of Jungle Island shows some of the new features coming to the park after a two-year renovation, including a zip line and lagoon.

Take everything you remember about Jungle Island.

Keep the colorful birds and that iconic spot on Watson Island.

Now throw the rest away.

In a new rendering released Wednesday after the park closed a $60 million deal with its new owners, Jungle Island is completely unrecognizable.

The 18-acre park, formally Parrot Jungle, will be transformed into an eco-adventure destination similar to what travelers may find in Mexico’s Xcaret.

The multi-million dollar project will herald in a three-part renovation and expansion that at its completion in two years will include zip lines, children’s adventures, water slides, a massive lagoon for swimming and water sports and a private beach club. The enhancement will also bring upgraded restaurants, a renovated banquet area and new animal adventures.

The first part of the enhancement plan, the addition of more than 5,600 feet of zip lines with drops as high as 14 stories over Miami, will debut this summer.

Chilean company Crystal Lagoons, which has an office in Miami, will build the man-made lagoon that is the centerpiece of the new project.

“At Jungle Island, we expect our lagoon to dramatically increase the number of attendees coming to the park – making Jungle Island one of the most successful tourist attractions in South Florida,” said Uri Man, CEO of Crystal Lagoons U.S. East.

The renovation is part of a deal that surfaced in September when the Herald broke the news that the troubled park was planning a major overhaul. Jungle Island, founded in 1936 and then purchased by a group led by Bern Levine in 1988 when it was still located in Pinecrest, moved to Watson Island along the MacArthur Causeway in 2003. Since, it has struggled to make loan payments, racking up debt.

San Diego-based Iconic Attractions took over management in 2013 with the mission of turning the park into a destination that could compete with attractions in Orlando.

The deal finalized Wednesday with Aventura-based asset management firm ESJ Capital Partners, which represents European investors and has put money into properties in Brickell and the Design District, aims to finally reach that goal.

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