The Clearwater (Fla.) City Council Jan. 17 issued a resolution to change the name of Damascus Road to Dr. Kiran C. Patel Boulevard, according to media reports.
The city had received a request from the property owner that is developing Nova Southeastern University, formerly the site of Clearwater Christian College, the report said.
Nova Southeastern University received its largest philanthropic gift in history from the Tampa-area Indian American cardiologist Patel and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Pallavi Patel.
The commitment from the Patel Family Foundation includes a $50 million gift and an additional $150 million real estate facility investment in an upcoming 325,000 square-foot medical education complex that will be part of NSU’s new Tampa Bay Regional Campus in Clearwater.
The complex will house the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, as well as the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing, Fischler College of Education and the College of Psychology.
One goal of the university, Patel said, is to train doctors who can return to their home countries and treat underserved communities, it added.
"It is not easy — there are a lot of challenges — but if somebody's heart is there and doing the right thing, the right results will follow," Patel said in the report.
Mayor George Cretekos described Patel's proposed development as a "boom for the city."
"I think it's a good fit and goes with what we were wanting to see with that property," Cretekos said, according to a Tampa Bay Times report. "The potential to benefit the entire area is just amazing."
Born to Indian parents, Patel grew up in Zambia and attended medical school in India, where he met his wife, Pallavi, the report noted.
The Patels moved to Tampa in 1982 and have since donated millions to local causes, including $26 million to the University of South Florida; $5 million for a conservatory at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts; and $3 million for a research institute at Florida Hospital Tampa. They have built hospitals in India and Zambia, it added.
Clearwater Christian College, founded in 1966, closed its doors a year ago with shrinking enrollment, increased debt and a lack of endowments.