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James Robinson is a man with a big vision and that vision is focused on Beaudesert. The young builder and developer is behind Oakland Estate, a 339ha master planned community that will double the size of Beaudesert.

Scenic Rim Regional Council approved the first 28ha stage in July and civil works are now underway.

For James, the development makes sense on many levels and he believes the Scenic Rim region is an attractive proposition for business, industry and lifestyle.

Once complete Oakland Estate will feature a Catholic highschool, supermarket, retirement village, tavern, retail precinct and food outlets, childcare centre, a park and a service station.

“We bought the site three years ago and for me the great thing about this block and Beaudesert is that the town has existing infrastructure,” explains James, who develops as Robinson Projects.

“There’s already a Coles, a Woolies and an Aldi. There’s already a town centre and town facilities.

“A lot of the other new master-planned estates are starting from nothing so new residents face a 10 to 15 year wait for facilities.”

James says as he planned his estate he consulted the local community widely, asking what facilities and services they wanted to see in the region.

Then he set about making those wishes a reality.

The first stage features a new Catholic High School, slated to open for the 2017 school year.

He’s also attracted developer brothers Jack and Tom Ray, of The Ray Group, to develop a number of commercial uses, including a service station and takeaway shops. Red Rooster is also confirmed as an opening tenant.

“I’m from a building background and I like to be hands on,” says James, who cut his teeth with top tier commercial construction companies from the age of 17.

“When I first secured the site a lot of the development guys in Eagle Street weren’t interested … guys like me, we go have a look.

‘I walked the streets, I went to the local shows and I spoke to people. I went and spoke to the Chambers of Commerce, I turned up at fundraisers and people told me what they felt the town needed.

“I’m here for the long term and if I don’t get the mix right I’m going to come unstuck halfway through.”

James is only 34 and says he’s always loved creating something from nothing.

He ran his own projects from the age of 20 and was a junior project manager with Hutchinsons by 23. He’s been involved in building the Redland Bay and Royal Brisbane Hospitals and has also project managed highrise developments.

He’s previously worked in the Scenic Rim for the Doyle Group and identified the opportunities in the region years ago.

“Being a builder by trade I like creating something that’s useable and functional. It’s not all about money for me, it’s about doing something. My wife says I’ll never retire, I’m just one of those guys.

 “For me it’s about creating a quality product because I know if it’s quality people will buy.”

The development of the estate is expected to take between 10 and 20 years across about 30 stages.

The first stage features 58 residential lots ranging in size from 626sqm and 1109sqm, as well as a 7ha park and mixed commercial uses including a Tavern, service station and Red Rooster restaurant.

James says he worked hard to get the mix of residential lot sizes right. He says while some lots are likely to be bought by investors, the bulk will be snapped up by owner-occupiers.

“It will be a mix,” he says.

“We are definitely going to have investors and first home owners but there will also be older couples who are downsizing and coming off properties, as well as the upgraders. Second time property owners.

“We’re selling 720sqm blocks for $200,000 and for that you’ll be next to a brand new highschool and your kids can ride their bikes into town.

“We’re offering 1109sqm house and land packages from $375,941.

“This area offers residents a great lifestyle. There’s already a great park here and we’re building a 7ha park. This is a quiet community but there’s also lots going on. There’s Eat Local Week and other festivals throughout the year. The Scenic Rim has a lot to offer, it’s not just a weekend destination.

“Affordability is a big drawcard. We’re only half an hour from Nerang or Logan so people can live here and still travel to those places for work.”