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Dr. Patel’s great estate
Premium content from Tampa Bay Business Journal by Mark Holan, Staff Writer
Date: Friday, August 10, 2012, 6:00am EDT
TAMPA — The 63,310-square-foot mansion being built in Carrollwood would not fit on the playing field at Raymond James Stadium.
The $6.5 million house Dr. Kiran Patel, and his wife, Pallavi Patel, are building on White Trout Lake has 12 bedrooms, 12 full bathrooms and eight half bathrooms. With 32,526-square-feet of air-conditioned living space, it will be the largest single-family house in Hillsborough County.
Their 17-acre compound also will include two smaller single-family homes, three guest homes, plus quarters for staff and a 3,600-square-foot maintenance building. The footprint figure includes such non-living areas as covered exterior porches, walkways and a garage bigger than six 2,000-square-foot houses.
“I had a desire and the opportunity to have all of my family in one location,” Patel, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. “The idea is to provide each family the independence of living the way they want, yet we are all interwoven together and physically close by. That is not always practical, but that is the primary motivation and driver of this project.”
Patel is a philanthropist and president and chairman of Freedom Health Inc. He is also involved in other business activities, including commercial real estate.
The Business Journal also interviewed John Saldana, principal of Rojo Architecture LLC of Tampa, which is designing the project, and reviewed plans and permits on file at Hillsborough County’s Development Services Department. Not all of the project details have been submitted.
Saldana describes the styling as “classical Italian with Indian detailing or flair.” The exterior will be reddish sandstone imported from India that lends itself to detailed embellishments.
“That is going to give the structure its elegance,” he said. “We have struggled with bringing this to suburban America. But even though there are many distinctive elements, people will be able to relate to it overall.”
The two-story main house is divided into three sections under one roof. Two separate residential wings totaling 8,695 square feet and 8,455 square feet flank the 15,376-square foot central portion, which includes formal dining room and living room, plus a theatre and Hindu temple for private worship.
Add another 17,626 square feet in covered exteriors and the 13,158-square-foot garage for 12 vehicles to reach the 63,310 square foot total.
An NFL football field is 57,600 square feet, including both end zones. Publix Super Markets Inc. opened stores in July and this month that range from 39,203 square feet to 56,430 square feet, according to the grocer’s website.
Until the Patel mansion is completed in about two years, gold dealer Mark Yaffe’s 28,295-square-foot house in Avila is likely to remain the county’s largest, followed by the 22,901-square-foot abode of former corporate raiderPaul Bilzerian, also in Avila.
Lazy Days’ R.V. Center founder Don Wallace is building a mansion on Lake Thonotosassa with 27,152-square-feet of living space. The 21,796-square-foot pad New York Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter built on Davis Islands keeps being knocked further down the lineup.
On the Patel estate, two additional single-family homes will each have five bedrooms, five bathrooms and two half bathrooms. The houses will be in the 7,500-square-foot range, Saldana said, though final plans have not yet been submitted.
The three guesthouses are each 1,254 square feet around three sides of an open courtyard. Each house contains two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with covered porches and walkways.
Family events in Indian culture are larger and “vastly different” than what most Americans are familiar with, Patel said. There is “a compounding effect” of children and in-laws that means he could have up to 150 guests “without inviting a single friend.” Given such large gatherings, the size of the homes “really isn’t that big when you break it down.”
The Patels have three children and three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way.
Available records show more than $7.3 million in valuation for the project, but that doesn’t include the two single-family houses next to the main house, the maintenance building or any of the site work and walls surrounding the compound. The land was purchased in 2003 for $3.2 million.
Hillsborough County, which currently values the land at $1.3 million, will assess the new structures for tax purposes as they are completed and occupied.
Luxury home broker Ed Gunning of Smith & Associates Real Estate is listing a 5,000-square-foot house on another part of White Trout Lake for $1.75 million. He said the Patel compound is too uniquely personal to be considered as part of the conventional luxury market.
“That is being built for privacy and what they want for their family needs,” Gunning said. “They are not thinking about resale.”
Because they are so unique, such projects often get snapped up at bargain prices if they ever do go on the market, he said.
The Patel project first surfaced in early 2006. Redesigning the main house, figuring out other technical elements and obtaining permits has taken years to complete.
But even with his multimillion-dollar personal wealth – much of it from WellCare Health Plans Inc. (NYSE: WCG), a managed care company he founded in 1985 and sold in 2002 – Patel said he had to ride out the global recession of 2007. “I had to make sure it was the right time to sustain this development.”
Saldana, who took over two years ago from previous architects, said his client isn’t typical of people building custom luxury homes.
“He is very responsible with money management,” Saldana said. “Everything is looked at again and again to make sure it is cost effective. He challenges every single price point that is put in front of him.”
Patel re-emphasized the family element of the project.
“Sometimes that gets lost in the material world of dollars and cents,” he said. “People jump on the money aspect. That is not the key element.”
General contractor:Onicx Construction, Tampa
Architect: Rojo Architecture, Tampa
Civil engineer: Anderson Lane Inc., Clearwater
Landscape architect: LA Design Inc., Tampa
Structural engineer: TRC Worldwide Engineering Inc., Sarasota
Specialty structural engineering: Dixon Engineering, Thonotosassa
Envelope consultant: C. B. Goldsmith and Assoc., Clearwater.
Mechanical and plumbing: Mechanical Engineering Solutions Inc., Tampa
Lighting consultant: Freddie Bedford Inc., Tampa