Miami Board Grants Archeological Designation to Related’s Brickell Site

Description: Learn about the Miami board’s decision to grant preliminary archeological designation to Related Group’s development site on Brickell Avenue. Find out the potential effects on the project’s future and the significant artifacts uncovered during excavation.

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Focus Keyword: Miami board, archeological designation, Related Group, Brickell site

Introduction: A Miami board has made a significant decision regarding the development site on Brickell Avenue owned by the Related Group. The board voted unanimously to grant preliminary archeological designation to a part of the site, raising questions about the project’s future. Let’s delve into the details and understand the implications of this decision.

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  1. Historic & Environmental Preservation Board Approval: The Miami Historic & Environmental Preservation Board has approved a resolution granting preliminary archeological designation to part of Related Group’s Brickell Avenue development site. The final designation vote is scheduled for November. Iris Escarra, the developer’s attorney, has stated that Related does not object to the initial designation of the site.
  2. Related Group’s Ambitious Plans: Led by Jorge Pérez and his sons, Jon Paul and Nick, Miami-based Related Group has ambitious plans for the area. They intend to construct a 75-story luxury condo tower in collaboration with Baccarat on the adjacent site at 77 Southeast Fifth Street, along with an apartment building. Additionally, a third tower is planned for the property at 444 Brickell Avenue, which currently houses an office building and restaurants.
  3. Uncertainty Surrounding the Project: While the board’s decision grants archeological designation to the site, it does not provide clarity regarding the future of Related’s project. The specific building plans and requirements for displaying the uncovered artifacts remain undetermined.
  4. Contention among Preservationists: Preservationists have expressed mixed opinions regarding the archeological designation. The excavation of the property has revealed artifacts and remains dating back 7,000 years, making it one of the most significant archaeological findings near the Miami River mouth in decades.
  5. Costly Delays for Related: The delays and uncertainty surrounding the final archeological designation have financial implications for Related Group. With Baccarat Residences condos already being pre-sold, the project’s progress is crucial. Related secured a $164 million construction loan from Truist Bank for the apartment tower, highlighting the financial stakes involved.
  6. Carveout for Interior Renovations: To mitigate potential hardship and damage, Iris Escarra successfully obtained a carveout in the resolution. This carveout allows Related and its tenants to proceed with interior renovations and repairs to the existing building without excavation, including activities related to the property’s recertification.
  7. Public Sentiment and Calls for Preservation: Several members of the public voiced support for the archeological designation, urging the city to prevent the construction of a new tower on the site and instead preserve it as a green space. A former city of Miami archaeologist emphasized the importance of valuing historic sites within the city.
  8. Update on the Adjacent Site: The board previously withdrew its proposed archeological designation for the adjacent site at 77 Southeast Fifth Street. During the recent meeting, South Florida archaeologist Bob Carr provided an update on the excavation findings, highlighting the discovery of unique and extraordinary objects. The excavation is expected to conclude in a few months.

Conclusion: The Miami board’s decision to grant preliminary archeological designation to Related Group’s Brickell site has raised questions about the project’s future. The significance of the artifacts discovered during excavation and the subsequent implications for the development remain to be determined. Preservationists and the public advocate for the preservation of historical sites, emphasizing the need to protect Miami’s rich history and culture.

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