Simon estate in Carmel hits market for $25 million

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The widow of real estate developer Mel Simon has placed their immense Carmel estate—complete with a 50,000-square-foot mansion and its own private golf course—on the market with an asking price of $25 million.

The 106-acre property known as Asherwood was listed on Tuesday through Carpenter Realtors in Fishers, according to the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors. It has an address of 10110 Ditch Road, but it sprawls well beyond a traditional street grid with its 18-hole golf course.

simoin estate asherwood 15colThe mansion was rumored to have been built for $55 million in 1999. (Image courtesy Carpenter Realtors)

Built in 1999, the main house consists of 36 rooms, including seven bedrooms and 24 full or partial baths. The property also includes a 6,000-square-foot guest house, a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse, and three maintenance buildings for the golf course totaling 20,000 square feet.

Listing agent Natasha Radovich did not immediately return a call from IBJ on Tuesday afternoon.

Simon and his wife, Bren, had been working on disposing of the home even before the billionaire’s death in September 2009. IBJ reported in 2008 that they were laying the groundwork to donate Asherwood to the Indiana University Foundation, potentially to house a new think tank.

At the time, the couple planned to downsize into a home just outside the town square in the nearby Village of WestClay, where the two had recently paid about $2.5 million for a three-story, Beaux Arts-style home.

The donation to IU Foundation never came to fruition.

At its current size and asking price, Asherwood is something of a white elephant for the central Indiana market. It was rumored to have been built for $55 million. Its current value might be in its available acreage for new residential development. The estate is surrounded by luxury single-family-home communities such as Deerfield, Windemere and Coppergate.

Married in 1972, Mel and Bren Simon frequently bought and sold major residential properties. 

One of the most prominent properties the Simons have owned is Villa de Venezia, a 52-room home near Palm Beach, Fla., built by Harold K. Vanderbilt in 1929. They bought Villa de Venezia for $6 million in 1986, and sold it in 2000 for almost $30 million—a single-home record for Florida at the time—to Veronica and Randolph Hearst.

After Mel’s death, Bren sold a 12th-floor condo in New York City’s Plaza Hotel for $48 million in March 2011. The same year she listed a mansion in Bel Air, California, for $44 million.


  • money went to workers
    That ceiling tile is faux painting. A lot of local artists and craftspeople had a decent 2000-2002because of this project.
  • Applause
    Ben - I stand and applaud your comments. You couldn't be more correct.
  • Awful comments
    People. You're speaking about a man who built an empire himself. He came from pennies, and he and his brother built an amazing corporation that employs many people. He paid his taxes to the largest extent. He gave to organizations freely. He built this massive place where he wanted to spend his living days. While building this estate, he spent countless of millions on decent contractors and their employees. Enough with the stupid remarks. Me personally, I didn't like the guy. But these moronic comments about how a man spent the money he worked for on his own home is insane. Good for Mel. Pennies on the dollar for his home? Who cares. The man built an estate for his living years.
  • More humility would be nice
    @concerned citizen, you are right, the Simons accumulated the wealth and can do with it what they want. However, building a $55MM home and golf course that will be sold for pennies on the $ is a bit shameful in my opinion. They are basically throwing away tens of millioins of $ becasue they can. Yes, this is the USA and people can do what they want with the money they have earned. Remember though, this is the same group that just handed the keys back to the bank on the Washington Square Mall property. The bank did not evidently require a guaranty on the property perhaps thinking that the owners would step up and do the the right thing. Instead, they defaulted on the loan to the tune of about $25.5MM reportedly. Maybe they should have offered up thier personal residence to help payoff the debt. Don't forget, this same group turned the keys over on the Eastgate Mall and Lafayette Square to their lender in the not so distant past. Yet, they are still the darlings of IN somehow.
  • Gross
    And assume $2.5 M per year since 1998...do that math and you get $40 M of charity not including personal gifts and one time lump sum gifts http://cancer.iu.edu/ If they want multiple houses at these values, they have earned the right...luckily as U.S. citizen it can't be taken away because local landlord and Mordant and Johnny do not like it.
    • How Much Did You Give?
      At YE 2012, Simon Foundation had given away $2.5 million. How much did you people give? Sheeple criticize excess but their philanthropy has far exceeded theirs. In a free country there is no such thing as excess. Don't like it, don't shop at his malls but that would likely be too stressful for your pea brain to understand. https://fdo.foundationcenter.org/grantmaker-profile?collection=grantmakers&key=SIMO075&state=%22Indiana%22&page=8&from_search=1
    • Mall?
      106 acres is plenty of space for a shiny new Simon mall. Why not sell the property off to the corporation?
    • turn it into the Yasser Arafat home for Palestinian orphans
      I was raised to believe that this sort of excess is shameful and wrong. In my travels I have visited many such properties from the Vanderbilt estate in North Carolina to the cottages of Newport, Rhode Island, Hearst castle, Versailles, Buckingham palace, the chateaux region south of Paris and several German castles. I am a fan of exceptional architecture and gardens and enjoy these type of tours. But money doesn’t buy happiness. Quite the opposite. And greed and excess are terrible traits to hand down to your children. Pity the property wasn’t deeded to the University long ago. I suppose it will be drooled over by the usual Carmel vultures until it reaches its next incarnation. Forrest Lucas only paid $3 million dollars for the former Hilbert mansion, which sat on 33 acres. I doubt Bren Simon will get her price. Only Irsay has that type money, and he’s sober these days, right?
    • evil people
      It is excessive no doubt. But I'm a tradesmen whose worked on houses like that. Most of the money spent on that estate went to working people like me.
    • Sad
      I grieve at the squalor these folks had to endure. If the government hadn't taxed them to death they might have been able to live decently. Just goes to show that it isn't possible to make a buck in this country anymore.
    • Selfish
      I don't blame Mel, I blame his interior designer. That's who is in charge of making things look amazing or - like in the photos - horrible. You know he and Bren didn't pick out any of this idiotic stuff, they hired an interiors person to do it and then gave it all the nod. Seriously, who puts tile on the ceiling? Sad that all this excess could have been put to use in better ways. The 1% have the money and power to make huge changes in many people's lives, yet choose to keep it all for their greedy, materialistic selves. Sad.
    • Such a Shame
      I took a good look at all the pictures that are on the WRTV website of this shrine to excess and pomposity. It floors me that Mel Simon could have been at once both instinctive commercially, charitable, and then be completely indifferent to practicality and good taste, all in one body, one mind. Blowing money needlessly on such over-the-top opulence he must have, as the real estate man he was been aware, that not one person that will ever walk the earth again would have the desire to ever own this behemoth of a residence, nor would the money once spent be able to ever do any useful work for mankind again. (To turn a screw on his legacy, now that we have glimpse inside, Mel was found to have the worst taste in foolish opulent design since David Saperstein.) He might have lived just as lushly on an estate one 20th this size, played his golf at a private club with other commoner millionaires, and still have had an indoor pool (I can see the need) without the 150 foot dining room table. With all the money he could have saved, so many other uses might have been found: saving eyesight, child education in impoverished neighborhoods, health care for the indigent, seed money for any number of budding entrepreneurs; thus a greater legacy left than this monstrosity. The house and grounds will sell for much less to housing developers, and all his buildings will likely be demolished. Short sightedness to marketability is not greed redux but a certain grandiose ineptitude.
      • Overkill
        The life of excess they lived is shameful, but as we have been very recently reminded, being a billionaire doesn't buy health or happiness. It does buy, however, a certain big-duck-in-a-little pond status and then you die, just like the rest of us blue collar folk in the pond.
      • Disposing?
        I guess when you have that much money you "dispose" of your home, "Simon and his wife, Bren, had been working on disposing of the home even before the billionaire’s death in September 2009."

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