Filed under: Real Estate Developments
Around two years ago I first brought you the story of The Shire, a Hobbit-themed development in Bend, Oregon. But two years ago there was no real estate crisis and now The Shire is facing foreclosure. The Bend Bulletin reports that the notice of default was recorded last week in the Deschutes County Clerk's Office on the 31-lot development. The original developr Ron Meyers sold his share in the development to Dr. Lynn B. McDonald and his wife Jan. They had taken full ownership in May but Dr. McDonald died July 7 and Jan McDonald is trying to sell off the 14 developed lots before the public auction of the six-acre property on December 2. The default notice says the family owes Umpqua Bank $3.4 million on the project.
The project includes stonework, artificial thatched roofs, and a network of gardens and streams with a pathway leading to a central courtyard. It as gotten plenty of media attention but just one home has sold for $650,000 since the project broke ground in fall 2006. Another, the Butterfly Cottage shown above, is listed at $899,000. It overlooks an amphitheater and has modern touches including bamboo flooring, a Japanese soaking tub and granite countertops. There is also a "hobbit hole" in the backyard for storing garden supplies.
The project seems to have gotten plenty of people stopping by to look but not many people buying. It's unclear what will happen to the Tolkeinesque theme of the development when new investors take over.