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Hilbert mansion to be auctioned

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CNO Financial Group Inc., formerly Conseco Inc., will resort to a sealed-bid auction to unload the lavish Hilbert mansion in Carmel, which has been on the market for five years.

The estate was most recently listed for sale at $9.9 million—less than half of the original asking price and a third of the $30 million it was estimated to be worth in 2001.

"They're spending a bunch of money to take care of this thing, and they're not in the business of owning mansions," Prudential Indiana Realty agent Greg Cooper said of his Carmel-based client. Cooper is the listing co-agent for the property with primary agent Dick Richwine.

Bidders have until Aug. 20 to inspect the 40-acre property, and sealed bids will be accepted until 5 p.m. Aug. 27.

Conseco founder Stephen Hilbert had the 25,000-square-foot mansion at 1143 W. 116th St. built in 1993. The estate features a 15,000-square-foot "sports palace," guest house, catering facilities and power plant.

CNO won control of the 40-acre property during a court battle stemming from loans that Hilbert took out to buy company stock. The estate went on the market in 2005 at $20 million. Last year, the asking price was slashed in half.

Cooper said multiple would-be buyers have failed to close transactions. Given that history, he said bids will be evaluated for credibility as well as price. Complete terms of the sale are available at www.indianamansion.com.

Prudential will agressively market the property to affluent buyers worldwide. At the right price, Cooper said it could serve as a second or third home. Cooper said he has fielded multiple inquiries over the years from IndyCar teams. "We have some major events that go on here," he said.

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  • to this house selling?
    Another 5 million for Conseco to put on their books, that's about it. Why should Carmel care? The taxes are paid, the house is unoccupied but maintained and not in disarray. Let it sit vacant for another 20 years, who cares?!? If Conseco wants it sold that bad, they should just take the highest bid at the end of this "auction" that they WILL NOT accept by the way. Add on another million or so and offer it back to Hilbert. He'd probably be willing to pay more for the home than anyone else.
  • Zeus observing
    The house will not sell so long as the former owner's portrait remains, looking down from Olympus. It took a monumental combination of bad taste and chutzpah to have yourself portrayed as Zeus...and I don't for a moment think he meant it as a joke. But as it was paid for with Other Peoples Money, it didn't matter.
  • CIB
    Maybe we can get the CIB to "loan" Conseco/CNO the money perhaps Mitch and Ballard can twist something into how that may create jobs and the CIB can put Hilbert back in his mansion for the next 3 years and give him a free look to decide weather he wants to stay in until 2019....
  • What has changed?
    The prices is still 10 million. They're doing a sealed bid auction.. Sounds like they're just trying to drum up some publicity for the listing. Slashing the price more isn't going to work! So the bids will come in by all who are interested. VERY low bids, and the house will remain unsold. Wow, what a great story, yawn.
  • Why don't you ask
    TD if he has some extra jingle around?
  • Useful Purpose
    Would make a nice party venue if the price is right!

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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