Met Square builder fights to save project

Recent archaeological findings on Miami site could scuttle development
February 13, 2014 11:15AM

Royal Palm Hotel

The developer of the proposed Met Square in downtown Miami is set to pitch the city’s historic preservation board on how it would build the mixed-use complex on a site where archaeologists recently discovered remnants of Tequesta Indian dwellings dating back up to 2,000 years.

MDM Development Group is expected to ask the board Friday to approve a plan to save one of the circular posthole arrangements found at the Met Square site and display it between two high-rise buildings, the Miami Herald reported. But historic preservation officials in both the city and Miami-Dade County are already calling for the entire 2,000-year-old site to be preserved. They would rather see a complete redesign of Met Square with an exhibit for most of the archaeological findings, which include pieces of Florida pioneer Henry Flagler’s Royal Palm Hotel.

The developer has zoning and development approvals to build a movie theater, restaurants and 34-story hotel on the site. But the city has not given MDM a final building permit. [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis