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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. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

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