I am trying to install pivotpi in a directory other than pi, I continue to get permission denied
That’s because the PivotPi software is specifically designed to use the “Pi” user, as that was the default user for the Raspberry Pi for years and years.
Can it be changed? Possibly.
Will it require a non-trivial amount of work? Absolutely!
The best thing to do, unless you want to rewrite everything, is to install using the Pi user.