Whether New Orleanians will ever again enjoy the taste of Hubig’s Pies remains in doubt, but the future of the site where they were made is becoming clearer.
The City Planning Commission voted this week to allow the vacant Marigny lot previously occupied by the Hubig’s Pies bakery to be transformed into an eight-unit condominium complex.
The final decision is up to the City Council. The site is in Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey’s district.
The commission voted 8-1 to approve a conditional use permit that will let Pie Dauphine LLC construct four two-family residences on the lot in the 2400 block of Dauphine Street, between Mandeville and Spain streets.
The development was opposed by several neighbors, who argued that it would be too intense for a neighborhood of mostly single- and two-family, single-story Creole cottages and shotgun houses.
The site has been vacant since the Simon Hubig Pie Co. building was destroyed by fire on July 27, 2012.
There is no indication that the bakery will ever reopen. Drew Ramsey, the bakery’s last manager and the son of one of the business’s two owners, told The New Orleans Advocate in November that the owners were not in agreement about what to do next.
The condo complex would consist of four buildings, each containing two units. Two buildings would front on Dauphine Street. The other two would be behind them on the back of the lot.
The front buildings and back buildings are to be separated by an interior courtyard that includes eight parking spaces. That area would be accessed by an electronic gate. The property also would contain a swimming pool behind the two back buildings.
Neighbors who spoke out against the development Tuesday said it would disrupt the character of their neighborhood.
James O’Neil, who lives in the same block as the development, said the proposal seems more like a gated community.
“The lot is deep, and they’re putting half of the units way back from the street front. The nature of our community is a walking community. You meet on the porch, on the stoop,” O’Neil said. “I really think it goes contrary to the nature of a walking community where you meet your neighbors every day.”
Marigny resident Gretchen Bomboy said she was concerned the condo units would be bought by investors and used as vacation rentals.
“We will never know these people,” she said. “We may not even see them.”
The developers said they have agreed to a covenant with the neighborhood agreeing that the properties would not be used as vacation units.
The critics said they would support a smaller development on the site of two to six residences.
The City Planning Commission staff recommended approving the development. It said the proposed density is appropriate for the site because each of the four units would have 1,878 square feet of lot area, well above the 800-square-foot minimum required in the Historic Marigny/Treme Residential District. The staff said there are several properties within a two-block radius of the site with greater density than the proposed development.
The project’s design will need to be reviewed by the Historic District Landmarks Commission.
Commissioner Alexandra Mora voted against the proposal. She said she shared residents’ concern that the development would be too dense for the surrounding neighborhood.
Hubig’s received approval from the City Council in 2013 to build a new, 16,000-square-foot bakery on a vacant lot bounded by Burgundy, North Rampart, St. Ferdinand and Press streets in Marigny, but nothing has come of that plan.