UPDATED December 21, 2017 - Homebuilder Paul Estridge has all but given up on plans to redevelop the sprawling Asherwood estate into a luxury home neighborhood. A year ago, Estridge and developer Michael Browning announced ambitious plans for the lavish but long-vacant mansion and property where the late mall magnate and Indiana Pacers co-owner Mel Simon lived with his wife, Bren. Bren Simon, who now lives in Colorado, listed the property for $25 million in 2014, but couldn't find any takers. The seven-bedroom, 50,000-square-foot mansion sits on 106 acres on Ditch Road between 96th and 106th streets. Its amenities include a private 18-hole golf course, two swimming pools, a tennis court, a clubhouse, greenhouse, guest house, home theater and caterer-ready professional kitchen. With the property languishing on the market, Estridge and Browning reached a deal to purchase the land with an undisclosed sales price. They wanted to build about 100 homes that would range in price from $800,000 to $2 million, eliminating the golf course in the process. They planned to use the mansion and guest house as a luxury boutique hotel and community center called the Residence Club and Inn.
Automotive engineer Louis H. Schwitzer built the original estate and was purchased by Mel and Bren Simon after their marriage in 1972.
Simon and wife Bren, expanded the home, adding on a 10,000-square-foot addition that included a 4,000-square-foot master bedroom wing. The home looks almost new as it was renovated after a 1998 fire nearly destroyed the house. It was found that a candle accidentally lit the fabric-covered walls in one of the bedrooms on fire.
'Asherwood' as it is known, is the most expensive residential property on the market in Indiana, with the property tax on the estate of around $110,000.00 per year. It has been described as 'World Class Charm with a European Flair'.
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