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Where's Gandalf When You Really Need Him? 

A bank has begun foreclosure proceedings against the developers of The Shire, the Tolkien-inspired project off Parrell Road that became a sort of emblem of

A bank has begun foreclosure proceedings against the developers of The Shire, the Tolkien-inspired project off Parrell Road that became a sort of emblem of the excesses of the Bend real estate boom.

In a notice of default filed Tuesday, Umpqua Bank claims that The Hatchery LLC, doing business as Shire Development, and Lynn B. and Janet S. McDonald owe more than $3 million, including over $2.8 million in principal and almost $125,000 in interest, on a loan made in December 2004.

Unless some settlement is agreed on first, the notice says the property will be sold at auction in early December.

"There is no other subdivision in Oregon and possibly the United States that is similar to The Shire," says the development's website in what is probably an understatement. "The English Country Village architectural style built around contemporary floor plans, appliances, and components is unique and far from the ordinary."

As of today, The Shire's website lists 13 "cottages" for sale at prices between $650,000 and $800,000, of which only one has been sold. There also are six "buildable lots" priced at $169,900 to $184,900, with one identified as "sale pending."

The Wandering Eye has to admit that the news of the default notice didn't come as a big surprise - our first reaction when we heard about this bizarre project was "WTF???"

We think it would be nice, though, if some person or organization with deep pockets would buy the remains of The Shire and turn it into a memorial to the late, lamented Bend Real Estate Bubble, may it rest in peace.

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