Trustee building biggest house in county

USF trustee and philanthropist Kiran Patel and his wife Pallavi are in the beginning stages of building a 35,000-square foot mansion on White Trout Lake set on 17 acres. When constructed, it will be the largest single-residence home in Hillsborough County.

According to Jim McQuerter, owner of McQuerter Concepts and architectural designer for the project, the house is going to be a piece of fine artwork to be enjoyed by all those who pass it, not just for the Patels’ luxury.

“He’s trying to create a work of art,” McQuerter said. “I do have several ideas, but I’m not releasing a design yet. That’s still several months away. I don’t want to dilute the enthusiasm.”

McQuerter did give some clues as to what even the neighbors may never get a chance to see. Outside, the Patels will have a swimming pool 450 foot-long – three times the length of an Olympic-sized pool – three golf holes, a carved replica of the Taj Mahal and a heliport. Three guesthouses will also sit on the property.

“We’re also building a 20-foot yoga room completely made of glass,” McQuerter said. “The room is in the shape of a lotus flower that is almost fully bloomed with some petals laying flat. The whole thing will be set on a green lily pad.”

According to McQuerter, a typical house with three bedrooms and two baths is relatively 1800 square feet Five of these put together would fit inside the Patels’ garage.

According to an article from the St. Petersburg Times, Patel bought the property in September 2003 for $3.2 million, and it had already been zoned for housing and offices.

The Patels will have to wait until April 3 to find out if construction can begin.

Michael Horner is representing the Patels at the zoning hearing and feels that they will have no problem getting permits.

“This is the largest residential project I’ve ever worked on, but I don’t think the Patels will have any problem getting zoned,” said Horner. “I’m working with the White Trout Lake Association because their main concern is damage to the lake, and I’m here to tell them there won’t be any.”

The Patels donated $18.5 million to USF last year to fund the Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions. With matching state funds, it was the largest donation USF has ever received at $34.5 million.

Patel and his wife amassed most of their fortune from his Tampa-based company, Wellcare, after they and four others sold it in 2003 for $300 million dollars, according to an article from The St. Petersburg Times.

“The most important thing to remember about Kiran Patel is that we all deserve what we want to have in life,” McQuerter said. “Dr. Patel has worked very hard at his life. He is probably

Hillsborough County’s – if not North Florida’s greatest – philanthropist, giving away money overseas and here at home. Most people don’t do that. They deserve this.”