Mel Simon estate donates $1M to retail group

LAS VEGAS–Greetings from Las Vegas, where I’ll be here until Wednesday attending the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual convention. It’s a huge gathering of retail developers and brokers hoping to make deals on new and existing projects. Indianapolis is well-represented by the likes of Simon Property Group Inc., Kite Realty Group and Lauth Inc. Most of the action is at the convention center: You know you’re in Vegas when showgirls make an appearance at a real estate gathering. One of the few exceptions is Simon, which conducts its business at Caesar’s Palace. One of the Simon camp’s bigger announcements came from the estate of Melvin Simon, which on Sunday announced a $1 million gift to the ICSC’s Foundation. Melvin, who helped found Simon Property Group with his brother Herb, died in 2009 at age 82. Melvin’s son, David, serves as the company’s chairman and CEO. With the $1 million gift, the foundation announced that it is kicking off a $5 million capital campaign in hopes of doubling the size of its undergraduate scholarship fund. Stay tuned for future updates from the convention.

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