Tiller, Oregon, could be yours for $3.85 million
By GRANT BUTLER
Of The Oregonian/OregonLive
PORTLAND — Frustrated with life in the big city? Looking to escape to a simpler place where your dreams can stretch out as far as the horizon? If you've got deep pockets, this could be your lucky break.
The entire southern Oregon town of Tiller is up for sale, and could be yours for a cool $3.85 million. That's right: You could own an entire town!
The ability to purchase an entire town is a great opportunity for a developer with vision, according to Garrett Zoller, the listing agent for the property from Medford-based Land and Wildlife realty.
“The most important thing is the arrangement of the properties as a whole, with 28 different tax lots, a school — it makes it very marketable,” Zoller said. “It's an opportunity to do the development, and do it with a lot more elasticity and less bureaucracy.”
Zoller said that it's rare for 250 acres of land and property to become available that could be developed from scratch.
Tiller is an unincorporated town in Douglas County that's nestled on the banks of the South Umpqua River, about 30 miles east of Canyonville and Interstate 5 along Oregon Route 227. The town sits at an elevation of 1,020 feet, and is surrounded by the Umpqua National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands. It's about an hour from Crater Lake, and 24 miles from Seven Feathers casino.
This is an area that's primed for outdoor recreation, including camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, and enough fly fishing to make you feel like an extra in a scene from “A River Runs Through It.” The town gets an average for 40 inches of rain each year, and about 3 inches of snow. The July high temperature is about 84 degrees, and the low for January is 33.
Not the outdoorsy sort? Tiller also has potential as a future location for a hotel, resort or restaurant.
The official listing for Tiller notes some of the key features of the town that would be included in the sale:
— 28 tax lots, making up more than 250 acres.
— Multiple domestic and agricultural community water rights.
— Nearly a mile of waterfront along the South Umpqua River and Elk Creek, including launch access for boats.
— Approximately 2 million board feet of merchantable timber.
— Tiller Store, a general store that's not currently operating, but includes a deli, a commercial kitchen, a gas pump, and an apartment.
There's plenty of history wrapped up in the sale. Tiller was named for Aaron Tiller, who was a pioneer in the area. Tiller's post office was established in 1902.
So what's life in Tiller like? It sounds sleepy, for now. Zoller said the town had very few actual residents, but there are about 250 people nearby. There's a community church located there, and on Sundays it might attract a congregation of about 50 people.
Tiller's elementary school has been closed for several years, and is a separate sale from the purchase of the town.
Zoller said there's been quite a bit of interest in the Tiller sale, including investors from China, as well as people looking at the possibility of developing a senior care facility, and buyers who are interested in using the land for hemp production.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com