The Shire in Bend, OR
Since my uncle Ron has been developing “The Shire” for a couple of years, I really have no excuses for not being the first to break this story. This community in Bend, Oregon (see homes for sale in Bend, OR), as described on its website, “has many flavors of eighteenth century English architecture and landscaping chosen because the style of the period was enchanting, evoking good feelings of a simpler lifestyle than the present.”
I admit it; I didn’t realize this development was blog-worthy until Marco sent a note to the blog team suggesting we write about a community that looks like it’s right out of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Joel Burslem, who blogs at The Future of Real Estate Marketing actually beat us to the virtual presses with a post titled “Hobbit Living in Bend” (Marco and Joel must read the same news). What can I say? Interesting news travels fast and it seems that Ron is gaining traction with his marketing campaign; the Shire was also featured on the front page of the Oregonian last week, and made it onto fazed.net.
We do have something on Joel, however, thanks to my blood-relationship with the developer — so, here’s the inside scoop after doing a little Q&A with my Uncle Ron:
- What was the inspiration for this plan?
“The site plan had a lot to do with the land layout whereby accentuating the various hills and trees. The Shire village concept comes from my vision of an integrated community where you enjoy your neighbors and your place is cared for by the HOA (home owner’s association). The Shire is meant to be a cool and different place to live which will hopefully build value because it is so unique.”
- Why this theme?
“The look of our Shire community comes from feelings which then create images I see when I think about fun, family and community; for me these images weren’t of skyscrapers. Why this theme? It makes me smile! The Shire’s name came from a friend who listened to me describe my vision and promptly stood up and proclaimed…’That’s The Shire.’ “
- What other themes are you thinking about?
“Lincoln Falls… “
- Is this theme being well-received?
“26,000 hits yesterday on the site. Not bad for a little old 31 home subdivision…..But of course, not everyone is in favor of the development.”
- Why Bend, Oregon?
“Because I live here. That and the fact that Bend is currently one of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S.”
- Are there any plans for stores in the shire?
“In Shire Woods we hope for a bank, postal business, pub and small offices in the Golden Hall.”
- Are you afraid that it will be inhabited by mostly Renfair types?
“If you came to The Shire, you would not feel as though you needed a costume to hang out. It’s truly just a beautiful place that feeds your soul and happens to have a theme to go with it. It’s fun!”