Carmel’s 107-Acre Asherwood Estate Makes New Bid for Buyer as the Songbook Foundation Hires Avison Young to Bring it to Market

One of Carmel, IN’s most beautiful homes is now ready for its spotlight. And for new ownership.


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Asherwood, the suburban Indianapolis estate of the late billionaire Mel Simon, is back on the market.

With the skilled team over at Avison Young now handling sales efforts, the famous property — valued at $30 million — is ready for new ownership, following its previous attempt to sell in 2014 which ended with Bren Simon (wife of the late shopping-mall magnate and Pacers co-owner) donating the 107-acre estate.

Bren Simon, Melvin Simon’s widow and a known philanthropist, handed Asherwood Estate — as well as its lavishly furnished 50,000-square-foot mansion — to the Great American Songbook Foundation to support its dedication to 20th century American music history.

asherwood estate main hallway
Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

Late last year, the foundation led by Grammy-nominated musician and historian Michael Feinstein sought bids from top real estate brokerage firms to advise it on the best ways to market and sell the property. Now, it appears that Michael Feinstein’s company has chosen global real estate firm Avison Young to lead sales efforts for the 107-acre property in Carmel, IN.

“We invested a lot of time and effort in evaluating options to maximize the potential of this property, not only for our organization but for the surrounding community,” the foundation’s executive director Chris Lewis said in a statement. “We want to honor this generous gift by opening the opportunity to prospective buyers who are able to elevate the grounds beyond our capabilities.”

Stan Burton, an associate in Avison Young’s Indianapolis office, will lead the efforts of coordinating the sale of the Asherwood Estate.

History of the Asherwood Estate

asherwood estate in carmel in
Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

In the 1970s, Melvin and Bren Simon bought the Asherwood estate in Carmel, Indiana. Developed by race car driver and automotive engineer Louis H. Schwitzer, the Asherwood estate was significantly expanded under the ownership of the Simons.

In the years following their purchase, Mr. Simon, the co-founder of the Simon Property Group, became one of the world’s foremost shopping mall developers and the co-owner of the Indiana Pacers basketball team. When he died in 2009 at 82, Mr. Simon was worth $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.

Mr. Simon’s widow, Bren Simon, listed the property for sale in 2014 for $25 million, with no takers. She then donated the massive Asherwood estate, along with the house and its belongings, to Michael Feinstein’s foundation, The Great American Songbook.

The millions of dollars worth of art, furniture and fixtures that were inside the palatial 50,000-square-foot mansion hit the auction block on November 17, 2018 with proceeds from the sale going to the foundation.

Asherwood Estate inside main room
Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

A real-estate deal to redevelop the vast estate into a luxury neighborhood and transform the seven-bedroom mansion into a boutique inn was also underway at the beginning of 2019, but was abandoned last month due to restrictions that prevented the development of large-scale homes on the estate.

The fully furnished seven-bedroom mansion and estate includes two golf courses, two swimming pools, a tennis court, a clubhouse, greenhouse, guest house, home theater and caterer-ready professional kitchen. The property is located along Ditch Road between 96th and 106th streets.

asherwood estate library
Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker
asherwood estate private office
Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

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Written by Georgie Mihaila

The main wordsmith behind all those Fancy Pants Homes. Avid reader and a sucker for superhero movies. Read, write, and dream real estate.