Keith Connors

Weekdays 10a-3p

Make room for more luxury condos at Indian Rocks Beach. A prominent real estate developer and philanthropist, is making headlines with his latest venture. Dr. Kiren Patel recently obtained a demolition permit to demolish the Gulf Towers Resort in Indian Rocks Beach to pave the way for a luxurious boutique condo development. The entity linked to Patel has owned the 45-key resort since 2005, and the costs of the demolition are estimated to be around $150,000.

Patel made his fortune in the healthcare industry, selling WellCare Health Plans Inc. for $200 million in 2002 and making two $1 billion-plus exits from other healthcare companies. He is a prolific real estate developer and philanthropist, known for his luxurious condo projects in the Tampa Bay area.

The proposed boutique condo project on his Gulf-front property will consist of eight exclusive units. Patel is anxious about the real estate market and hopes to see the condos go vertical in the third quarter. However, he also wants to ensure that they are 50% presold before breaking ground. He believes that buyers who are not dependent on bank debt may be interested in the exclusive product.

Patel’s team is still conceptualizing the building with an architect, and he is not ready to hire a listing agent to market the condos for sale. He said that he is open to owning one of the condos himself, as he already owns a condo in Bella Capri, a 23-unit project he developed on the gulf in 2009. His other condo projects in the area include Da Vinci in Indian Rocks Beach and Ocean 12 in North Redington Beach. Dr. Patel’s new venture has generated considerable buzz in the real estate market, and it will be interesting to see how the project develops in the coming months. TBBJ