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Southeast Queens is already known to have floods of near-Biblical proportions, and now it will be getting an ark to match.
The Port Authority announced last week it had approved plans for a $32 million veterinary, kenneling and quarantine facility for animals at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which will be called ARK.
“While most of our airport passengers walk on two legs, this new center will serve the important travel needs of our four-legged and winged friends, while helping to create regional jobs and significant revenue for the Port Authority,” Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said. “This is another example of agency staff seeking new ways to meet niche markets and maintaining a leadership role in the aviation industry.”
Animals in transit in and out of JFK are currently boarded at the 1.25-acre Vetport. When completed, the new ARK will span 14.4 acres and handle roughly 70,000 animals a year.
The center, which will be paid for and built by ARK Development LLC, will be housed in the vacant Building 78 and feature dog and cat grooming and kenneling services, an aviary, a three-day equine quarantine area, lawn space for animals to stretch their legs and a veterinary hospital/rehabilitation center for horses and other large animals. The PA said no animal testing will be done at the facility.
The Port Authority anticipates it will receive more than $108 million in rent over the 20-year lease and the project will create 190 jobs, $12.3 million in wages and $50.5 million in economic activity.
“The Port Authority is proud to partner with ARK to make air travel at JFK more humane for animals and convenient for pet owners,” Port Authority Chairman David Samson said. “ARK, our private sector partner, will invest $32 million that will result in a world-class animal handling facility and establish a preeminent equine medical and surgical practice.”
The Port Authority said ARK is in negotiations with the veterinary school at Cornell University to serve as the operator of the animal hospital.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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