Rock impresario Damian Bohager plans to erect a seventy-one-foot dome over his Fells Point property this winter.
“It’s a big white marshmallow,” says Bohager of the projected seven-story structure that will enclose Parrot Island, an outdoor club, this winter. With the help of several construction cranes, a polyester dome will be inflated over the club’s tikki- huts and palm trees by midOctober. The interior will be pressurized, and entry into the club will be made through revolving airlock doors.
Cigarette smoking will be allowed.
The dome would enclose the property between October and May, says Bohager. While approval for the project has not yet been made, Bohager says he has a verbal okay from the pertinent government agencies. He expects to have a hearing in front of the Board of Municipal Zoning within several weeks.
Costs are expected to exceed $600,000. Bohager is seeking state funding for the project.
Last night, he made a presentation to the Fells Point Task Force, a community planning group. Attending the meeting were First District Councilwoman Lois Garey, First District Council Republican candidate Bob Santoni, South East Sector Lt. Carmine Baratta, along with a dozen business and community members. A .similar presentation was made two weeks ago for the local homeowners association.
“It’s an odd suggestion at first glance,” shrugged Bohager at the meeting, “I’ll be the first to agree with you its ugly.” In its defense, he said that he and his financial backers had invested 2.5 million dollars into the club, and it needed to be open year round to recoup their investment. Parrot Island had been open only during summer months since its inception three years ago. Bohager purchased the property this year.
No decision was made whether the group would support the project last night, as many of its leaders were not present, including its chairman, State Senator Peny Sfikas. After the meeting, Bohager said that he was petitioning the various community groups out of good faith, even though he did not need their support. Parrot Island
i sits in the middle of an industrial district, west of Fells Point.
Bohager had run a live music venue for six years at 515 South Eden Street, several blocks up from Parrot Island. That club had hosted such nationally-recognized bands as Girls Against Boys, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and Sebadoh.
On June 2nd of this year, the operation was moved down to the deftinct mega-bar Parrot Island, and it was rechristened “Bohager’s at Parrot Island.”
When the move was first proposed in late April, the Fells Point Task Force did not contest it.
At that time, Bohager was proposing to build a 2,700 square foot concert hall constructed of cinder block, rather than the current 26,000 sq. ft. inflatable dome.
The dome will be built by the Canadian firm Yeadon, which specializes in “air supported structures.”
Owned by the Bohager family, the old club remains vacant. A plan to relocate the Fells Point Post Office to that site failed during lease negotiations. The current owners of Parrot Island include Damian Bohager and a consortium of lawyers.