Sailboat Bay, Brisbi’s owners propose competing condo, apartment projects in marina
A subcommittee for the Non-Flood Protection Management Authority heard two opposing housing proposals for “Parcel K” in the Orleans Marina at their April meeting. Hodgins Property One proposed a 24-unit apartment complex, while the owners of Brisbi’s Lakefront Restaurant & Bar proposed a 16-unit condominium for the same space.
Parcel K is located in the 8600 block of Pontchartrain Boulevard inside the Orleans Marina.
Hodgins Property One’s Christopher Hodgins, a Louisiana State University graduate, said the proposed building would be run in conjunction with Sailboat Bay Apartments, which the Hodgins family has owned since 1996. Hodgins, who has been running operations for the apartments for the past eight years, has lived on site before and is currently living in the area.
“I know all the tenants intimately,” Hodgins said. “We know the car that they drive, what their habits are.”
The proposed 24-unit apartment complex at Parcel K will consist of 16 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units. An estimate on the cost of the five-story building is around $6 million. Parking would be placed underneath the building with additional parking being outside the site.
Stairs would be placed on both ends on the apartment complex with an elevator placed in its center, and developers are proposing a design where natural light comes through glass walls in the second floor.
“We expect people to come and stay because of how nice it’s going to be,” Hodgins said.
Hodgins said he thinks the project will bring life to the area and money into local businesses that are around the Orleans Marina. He explained that he doesn’t expect people to turn around and leave the development every year.
On the other hand, Brisbi owners George Brisbi and son Jonathan Brisbi are proposing a project with a total investment of around $5 million. They have experience in home building since 1988 and have completed over 50 commercial projects.
Their housing proposal is a 16-unit condominium with each unit being privately owned and standing at two stories tall with two bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. Parking for each unit includes two parking spots underneath, and George Brisbi said they are planning to keep a green space closest to the flood gate.
Chip Verges is the architect for their project, and the Brisbi owners are offering an additional $606,000 for their housing proposal. Jonathan Brisbi said they are offering more funding with the condominium to help the Non-Flood Authority with its mission statement of maximizing revenue on the Lakefront, which Brisbi said is a mission statement he believes in.
“Home-ownership helps increase the value of properties,” Jonathan Brisbi said.
According to George Brisbi, the restaurant owners have met with the Lighthouse Harbor Condominium Association and have received their approval and support for the project.
When asked by the Non-Flood Authority if he was planning to sell Brisbi’s, George Brisbi confirmed that the restaurant was not for sale. The Non-Flood Authority officials confirmed with Hodgins that the Sailboat Bay was not for sale either.
Non-Flood Authority officials commented that it is not a bad thing to have such similar proposal choices for the betterment of the community. Their decision on the housing proposals will be brought before the Non-Flood Authority commercial real estate committee, before reaching the Non-Flood Authority board.