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Club owner cited for starting construction without permit

The official paperwork is still in a drawer, but it did not seem to matter to the men inside Joe Redner's would-be go-go club in Brandon. The sounds of hammering and sawing competed with traffic at the former Sun Bank building off State Road 60 as workers constructed a stage and boarded up windows _ even though a building permit has yet to be issued.

The unauthorized construction prompted a quick citation from the Hillsborough County Building Department.

David Jones, director of the building department, said Redner had applied for the permit but was not allowed to do work until all construction plans were reviewed and the permit issued.

Jones said he could require that all work be torn down if it does not meet standards. Redner faces a double permit fee, which ranges from $30 to $60, for starting the work early.

"It's no big deal," Redner said Thursday. "They're just boarding up the windows." He has vowed to open the controversial nightclub, which will feature nude dancers, by March 1.

Redner said he rejected an offer by Sun Bank to buy back the building for $610,000, even though Redner paid $650,000 for the property.

"The offer was laughable," he said. "I didn't even take it seriously."

The bank had said it wanted to buy the building to "protect the community" from Redner's club, which will be called the Mons II. Many members of the community, including a local gymnastics club, have protested the nightclub. Redner said he gets calls from protesters and reporters about his plans nearly every day.

"This is getting to be ridiculous," Redner said.