The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said a new facility for handling animals will be built at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The facility will handle about 70,000 domestic and wild animals annually, and the agency said it will set new national airport standards for comprehensive veterinary, kenneling and quarantine services.
Dubbed ARK, it will offer a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, animal daycare services and more efficient ways to transport animals worldwide, including exotic species. It will create 190 jobs, $12.3 million in wages and $50.5 million in economic activity during the span of the project’s 20-year lease.
ARK Development LLC will take over the currently vacant Building 78 at JFK and 14.4 acres of ground area as part of a 20-year agreement, in which the company will invest about $30 million in the 108,650 square-foot main center 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's term, consisting of fixed rent and revenue-sharing percentage fees.
The center also 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 center for horses and other large animals. There will be no animal testing done at the facility.
The agency said the new ARK will offer a wider array of services than those of the current Vetport, which is located at JFK’s Building 189, and operations will transition without interruption. ARK services will include enhanced animal boarding and equine quarantine space, which will satisfy the present and future needs of airport stakeholders and customers. - Chris Dupin