MIAMI (WSVN) - In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, the Miami city board approved temporary protection for a recently discovered prehistoric settlement in the Brickell neighborhood. This move sets the stage for a potential dispute between a well-known developer and preservationists regarding construction on the site.
By a vote of 6-0, the city’s historic preservation board granted preliminary designation to 444 Brickell Ave. as a protected archaeological site. This area is part of a larger property on the Miami River that is slated for redevelopment by the Related Group.
Over the past two years, archaeologists excavating a section of the Related property unearthed a remarkable collection of artifacts, plant and animal materials, and remnants of indigenous structures that date back thousands of years.
Independent archaeologists have deemed the discoveries on the site to be exceptionally significant, making it one of the most important prehistoric sites in South Florida.
The approval of the preliminary designation ratifies an agreement reached in April between preservationists and the developer, Related.
Earlier in the year, construction had commenced on one of the three planned residential towers on the property after archaeologists completed their excavation work on an empty parcel adjacent to the existing office building at 444 Brickell. Excavation efforts are ongoing in another vacant section of the Related property.
The approval of the temporary protection came after minimal discussion.
Several members of the public, including representatives from Native American groups, expressed their support for the designation, while no opposition was voiced.
The board plans to discuss the decision again in November.
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