Simons may give estate to IU

May 12, 2008
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AsherwoodBillionaire philanthropists Mel and Bren Simon are laying the groundwork to give their 43,000-square-foot Carmel mansion and private golf course to the IU Foundation and downsize into a new home in the Village of WestClay. The estate, called Asherwood, includes a 10-green golf course, a giant pool house and a Simon home30-foot-by-50-foot outdoor pool. The home, twice as large as the Carmel palace built by former Conseco executive Stephen Hilbert, features a 2,700-square-foot spa and a 1,300-square-foot library. One idea for the estate is for the creation of a liberal think tank. (The aerial image is from Google Earth.) The Simons paid about $2.5 million for a three-story, Beaux Arts-style "city home" in the Village of WestClay, shown at right. The full story is here.
  • Liberal think tank in Carmel? Good luck with that!
  • Isn't liberal think tank a contradiction in terms?
  • Looks like Carmel will lose over 10 million dollars( Should have been assessed at least 50 million) in property tax value and more when the Hilbert estate goes to a non profit. Also, the taxpayer will be hit for the upkeep, Simon gets to deduct 50 million from his taxes for the gift. Good deal for everyone except the poor ole taxpayer. We now get to support those castles. I can't wait.. Looking now like Indy.
  • Eric, If liberal and progressive can work together, than Carmel may not be such a bad place for that type of an institute. Check out what the Urbanophile sayes about Carmel. The three part seris is enlightening for those who never get north of 86th street.
  • LDH -- true about the lost property tax value, but that's only about $100k in actual tax. One could argue that Carmel will be getting a lot more value out of a possible think tank than they would be getting from $100k in property tax.

    And regarding the upkeep, Cory's article notes:

    If the Simons give Asherwood to the IU Foundation, a cash gift likely would accompany the real estate since upkeep alone is in the range of $1 million per year, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told IBJ.
  • Since well over half of the country hasn't ever seen a liberal president in office, and since the media has generally bought the GOP line on liberalism, it might be useful to consider what life would be like if it hadn't been for liberals in the White House.

    People who complain about liberals are like the man from Virginia who went to college on the GI Bill and bought his first house with a VA loan. When a hurricane struck he got federal disaster aid. When he got sick he was treated at a veteran's hospital. When he was laid off he received unemployment insurance and then got a SBA loan to start his own business. His bank funds were protected under federal deposit insurance laws. Now he's retired and on social security and Medicare. The other day, however, he got so mad that he climbed into his car, drove the federal interstate to the railroad station, took Amtrak to Washington and went to Capitol Hill to ask his congressman to get the government off his back.

    Here are a just a few of the things America would be without were it not for liberals in the White House:

    Regulation of banks and stock brokerage firms cheating their customers
    Protection of your bank account
    Social Security
    A minimum wage
    Legal alcohol
    Regulation of the stock exchanges
    Right of labor to bargain with employers
    Soil Consevation Service and other early environmental programs
  • National parks and monuments such as Death Valley, Blue Ridge, Everglades, Boulder Dam, Bull Run, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Mount Rushmore, Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, Cape Cod, Fire Island, and San Juan Islands just to name a few.

    Tennessee Valley Authority
    Rural electrification
    College educations for innumerable veterans
    Housing loans for innumerable veterans
    FHA housing loans
    The bulk of hospital beds in the country
    Unemployment insurance
    Child Labor Act
    Small Business Administration
    National Endowment for the Arts
    U.S. Civil Rights Act
    Peace Corps

    This list is by no means exhaustive. And I'm not (or they, to be precise, as I've lifted much of the above) saying liberals haven't championed some disastrous policies or that conservatives have never had a positive influence in the development of this country. All I am simply trying to say is that the kind of irrational sniping by people like DRT ignores the morally muddled and complex nature of this world, thereby helping to dumb down the level of discourse in this country.

    DRT, wake up or at the very least, get your head out of your proverbial ass and welcome to the hyper complex and morally confusing world known as reality.

    I know, I know, this will require you to make an extra effort to understand wildly different perspectives and may even, gasp!, make you challenge your beliefs. Don't worry, DRT, it won't kill ya ;-)
  • Reality Bites:

    You raise some great points. Unfortunately, in this world, the change of power is what has hurt. Liberals have been the ones to come up with many policies and programs to help people at all levels. That has been the backbone of the Democrat Party. Unfortunately, what has taken over the same party as leadership are progressives. Ideas for the benefit of all - that's what we need. Throwing out our traditional values in the process, that's what progressives want.

    We as a society need to bring together the best and brightest to be leaders - we certainly don't have that now in either political party. We need to hold on to our traditional values, and we need embrace rational change and stop the name calling.

    Lastly, there is a growing segment of our populace that thinks they are entitled to handouts from the government in the form of being paid and not working (I don't mean those that cannot work), free medical care, free groceries, free day-care, free this and that. These entitlements were never the intent of those in government when programs were created to be a helping hand. Unfortunately, checks and balances be damned, too many are feeding at the public trough and are undeserving.
  • Man, I make one comment in jest and this is what I get? :) . Apparently some of us have better things to do (aka jobs) then spend the day copying and pasting emotional (non-intellectual) arguments defending socialism. A little more effort and work from both sides of the aisle and we will be a full-blown dictatorship.
  • Democratic Party, please.
  • What people keep missing in the no property tax debate is that converting a residence to a non-property-tax-paying employer is there's probably a net tax gain because of the COIT. Think-tank employees make more money than housekeepers and gardeners.
  • Who thinks that the 9 hole golf course won't be sold off and developed?
  • is there such a thing as the republican party anymore?
  • Good for the Simons, good for IU. How long till we can get rid of Mitch. Keerp an eye on your property taxes, please.

    {maybe they could fit an IKEA in there while they are at it}


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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.