ARK Signs Lease with New York, New Jersey Port Authority

ARK Signs Lease with New York, New Jersey Port Authority

The ARK will have a large animal departure lounge, where horses for export have access to comfortable stalls, food, and water.

Photo: Courtesy Racebrook

ARK Development, LLC, an affiliate of leading real estate company Racebrook Capital, announced today it has signed a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop, finance, construct, operate, and manage The ARK at JFK, a $48-million, 178,000-square-foot state-of-the-art animal handling and intelligent air cargo facility.

The facility will be the first privately owned animal handling cargo terminal and USDA-approved, full-service 24-hour airport quarantine facility for the import and export of horses, pets, birds, and livestock.

The new facility will be constructed at the current site of Cargo Building 78 at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, with 14.4 acres of surrounding ground area, which includes airside access to the taxiway and large aircraft ramp parking. It will be divided into three sections: the air cargo wing, a central administrative and business center with 24-hour veterinary hospital, and the main animal handling facility with pet boarding, animal import and export center, and livestock export handling system.

“We developed The ARK concept to address the unmet needs for the import and export of companion, sporting and agricultural animals,” said The ARK at JFK founder and Racebrook chairman John J. Cuticelli, Jr.

The $48 million project will create more than 180 jobs and generate revenues for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey estimated at $108 million over the span of the project’s 30-year lease. The completed facility will significantly increase cargo throughput at the airport.

“Redeveloping cargo infrastructure and growing the cargo pie at New York and New Jersey’s airports is vital to supporting thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity for the region,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “ARK’s investment of $48 million into JFK will transform an airport structure that has been vacant for nearly 10 years into a world-class specialty cargo facility, and the agreement guarantees the Port Authority more than $100 million in revenue without any additional capital investment.”

The ARK at JFK has been designed by leading architects, designers and engineers, including master architect Gensler, equine-specialty architect Gralla Equine Architects, construction manager Holt and Grandin Livestock Handling Systems, with guidance from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the USDA.

Lachlan Oldaker, RA, of Gralla Equine Architects that there will be a large animal departure lounge, where horses for export have access to comfortable stalls, food, and water. There will also be an arrival area where the horses’ vitals are taken before they are placed in individually climate-controlled units equipped with bedding and natural light.

The facility will provide both airside and landside services to board, kennel, quarantine, import, export, and transport large and small animals. Additional services will include transportation in dedicated climate controlled vehicles from aircraft, terminals, cargo facilities and other airport locations. A livestock export handling system designed by Temple Grandin, PhD, will allow for the safe and efficient handling of cattle, goats, pigs and sheep from truck to aircraft.

A key component of The ARK at JFK will be state-of-the-art veterinary services available 24/7, 365 days per year, including general medicine, emergency, critical care, internal medicine, surgery, and advanced diagnostics provided by LIFECARE, a new veterinary hospital system with practices across the country.

“We are excited to embark upon such a game-changing development, which will revolutionize the care of animals in an aviation environment,” said Dr. Aaron S. Perl, Founder and Managing Director of The ARK at JFK and General Counsel of The Racebrook Portfolio Companies. “We are proud to have brought together one of the most prestigious project development teams in the field to bring this vision to life.”

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