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Developer files for bankruptcy

Rogue Valley developer Cris Galpin filed for Chapter 11 protection Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Eugene, claiming liabilities of between $50 million and $100 million and assets of less than $50 million.

The move followed a Wednesday bankruptcy filing by Galpin's Eagle Point Developments LLC, one of his many ventures.

Galpin has been synonymous with commercial and large-scale residential development in the Rogue Valley for decades. When Albertsons and Walmarts appeared in the region, Galpin was involved. The Delta Center on Highway 62 at Delta Waters Road was his project, as was Coachman Hills in Jacksonville, mobile home park developments and dozens more.

Eagle Point Golf Course, built in 1996 and perhaps the crown jewel of Galpin's efforts, created instant demand for upscale homes in Eagle Point that continued for a decade before the real estate bubble burst.

A wave of foreclosures swept through the residential area around the golf course and building virtually ceased as property values declined. Eagle Point lots presently shown on the Galpin and Associates website are priced at $99,900.

But lots haven't been selling and the cost of maintaining the development led lender U.S. Bank to seek a judgment against Eagle Point Developments LLC. The property was due to be auctioned off by Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters on Thursday morning, but on Wednesday Portland attorney Susan Ford of Sussman Shank petitioned for bankruptcy protection for the company, putting the auction on hold.

According to county property records, Eagle Point Developments is listed as the owner of nearly 54 acres of mostly bare land properties.

Telephone messages left on Galpin's cell phone and office phones were not returned.

Galpin has filed a motion to combine the Eagle Point Developments filing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank Alley III with his own case.

According to court documents filed Wednesday, Eagle Point Developments owes its creditors nearly $10 million, while its assets easily surpass that figure. Its creditors include U.S. Bank, which has a secured claim of $8.2 million.

On Thursday, Galpin filed a Chapter 11 petition under his own name — officially Arthur Critchell Galpin — that listed 19 additional major debts totaling more than $34 million. According to those court documents, Galpin has financial commitments — ranging as high as $14.8 million — to nine financial institutions, including Bank of the Cascades, PremierWest Bank, Evergreen Federal Bank and Umpqua Bank.

The Eagle Point Developments filing also listed several small creditors, including Eagle Point Community Golf Home Owners Association, which is owed $12,816; Medford Municipal Court, owed $9,642; and Jacksonville surveyor Richard Templin, $26,130. Galpin is also listed as a creditor.

The sheer financial weight of loan payments, home owners association fees, property taxes, maintenance and liability insurance would have made it difficult to hold onto the vacant lots in the Eagle Point development, said Vic Nicolescu of The Alba Group real estate company in Medford. He showed up at the county sheriff's office with about 20 other interested parties on Thursday morning before learning that the property auction had been called off.

Nicolescu said that any major property owner who purchased land in the years prior to the economic downturn likely would be faced with similar financial pressures.

"Lot values have fallen to where they were in 1995 or 1996," he said.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email business@mailtribune.com.

Developer files for bankruptcy