By Tom James
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Aspiring property moguls take note – the town of Tiller, Oregon, is for sale, asking price just $3.5 million. For an extra $350,000, you can have the old school too.
The mostly uninhabited, unincorporated town about 225 miles (362 km) south of Portland originally went up for sale in 2015, but that did not include the building that used to house the school, said Garrett Zoller, the owner of Land and Wildlife, the real estate firm selling the 250-acre (100-hectare) town.
The current deal, at a reduced price, includes six houses and an apartment, industrial and commercial lots, and a building that once housed a gas station and general store. Adding the school, on an adjacent parcel, swing sets and all, would set a buyer back about $3.85 million.
About 250 people live in the surrounding area. But aside from the family that owns and is now selling the town, only two residents remain in Tiller itself, a former teacher who lives next to the school, and the pastor of the local church. Neither of their parcels is for sale, Zoller said in a phone interview on Monday.
The emptying out of the town came as timber harvesting declined in the region and the town’s mill closed, he said.
“When the federal money started dwindling away for timber, basically the mill shut down,” Zoller said. “And when the mill shut down, a lot of the loggers started having to go away.”
The family that owns Tiller now, he said, accumulated the town lot by lot as other families left.
Daydreamers aside, a complete town could also be an opportunity for a developer, Zoller said, since part of the town has already been divided for a 13-acre (5-hectare) subdivision.
He said he had fielded calls from would-be buyers ranging from Chinese investors to people interested in starting medical facilities and hemp-growing operations.
(Editing by Patrick Enright and Peter Cooney)