BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Contractor Dan Bavisotto was just picking up supplies at Home Depot last week when people started teasing him for his role in a News 4 story about a new strip club that could be coming to Buffalo.
“The girls were razzing me about it a little bit. They wanted to come take an application, because they thought I had an ‘in’ there. And I was like, ‘What are you talking about?'” Bavisotto said.
Bavisotto Construction was listed as the general contractor on the building permit hanging on the future site of the “Body Shop,” which would be New York State’s largest strip club if approved by the City.
“I’m not affilitated with this job whatsoever. I don’t like the way the guy does business,” Bavisotto said.
Bavisotto says he was initially involved in negotiations with the Body Shop’s owner Jim Grys but pulled out, because he felt uncomfortable.
“I thought there might have work going on that I wasn’t aware of, that they were going to try to fit into my permit. And I just wanted nothing to do with that,” Bavisotto said.
After News 4 contacted Grys and asked for his explanation, he provided an amended permit that lists himself as the contractor.
Bavisotto says it is an important distinction in case anything goes wrong on a project.
“If I’m the general contractor on the job, I’m liable – responsible – for anybody working on that job,” Bavisotto said.
Grys still needs an occupancy permit to do business in Buffalo. For that, he needs the police department, the planning board, and the Common Council to approve it.
Council Member David Franczyk was already opposed but says this contractor confusion makes it worse.
“I think we’re developing a pattern of deception that kind of puts a poison pill in this whole operation, I would hope,” Franczyk said.
Body Shop owner Jim Grys said the permit now lists himself as the general contractor, and he has a licensed contractor, SE Knight Construction, working on the job.
The City of Buffalo did not provide any clear answers whether this is proper, despite numerous attempts to get the information.