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.
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  • 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. http://theurbanophile.blogspot.com/2007/02/carmel-leadership-in-action-part-one.html
  • 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
    NASA
    U.S. Civil Rights Act
    Medicare
    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. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

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