Jungle Island asking city commission for help
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida attraction is asking lawmakers for help to stay open.
Jungle Island has been unable to make a $2 million payment on a $15 million loan.
A Jungle Island spokesperson told the Miami City Commission Tuesday they have a private investor that would step in and pay off the loan but only if they got more land adjacent to their Watson Island property to expand. "What we are proposing is to redevelop this island, with a hotel, open up the waterfront in the back," said spokesperson Brian May.
In the back of Jungle Island is a yacht club that has a lease with the city. The club has been there since the 40s.
The club fears the expansion would take away their sales. "This will consume our location, and the public area. It will cut off public access, and shut down our programs," said Yacht Club Commodore Donita Leavitt.
It is not the first time Jungle Island has been unable to make payments. Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones said it always seems like the city gets caught holding the bag. "With the city being in the position that it is financially, with the city for the most part, being responsible for 80 percent of the loan, it seems like this is just a bad deal from day one."
The commission put off a final decision for a later date.
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