In much the same way that there’s a difference between a house and a home, there’s a difference between a suburb and a community. One refers purely to geography, to arbitrary borders on a map. The other requires people, planning and passion, as the developers of Yarrabilba have discovered.

Just 15 kilometres from the M1 Motorway, positioned between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Yarrabilba is South East Queensland’s fastest growing community. A pine plantation until the early 2000s, the Logan locality was given new life in 2012 when Lend Lease began transforming the area into a master planned ‘model community’ of the future.

Almost 1000 lots have been sold since March 2012 and over 900 people already call the rapidly growing community home, with another 200 new homes under construction and soon to be occupied. When it’s all said and done, over 45,000 people across 17,000 residential dwellings are expected to live in Yarrabilba.

It’s telling that the first major amenity delivered by Lend Lease — before a school, shopping centre, childcare centre or service station — was a park. The Darlington Parklands opened in January with a water playground, 30 metre flying fox, climbing dome, and a unique fort and fitness zone. Because, really, what helps to build a community faster than a park?

“Lend Lease conducted extensive customer research in the lead up to the launch of Yarrabilba,” says Regional Development Manager, Rob Moore. “And, while a number of substantial insights were developed through this process, the key feature potential buyers responded to was the possibility of delivering a water playground within the first District Park. This insight ultimately led to the Darlington Parklands concept.

“Darlington Parklands has since become a central feature and drawcard to Yarrabilba during the early establishment years, as well as a central meeting, leisure and recreational facility for visitors and residents alike.”

Indeed, Yarrabilba isn’t short on leisure and recreational spaces. Over 25 per cent of the 2,012 hectare site – which boasts panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges – is reserved for open space, including parks, playing fields, environmental corridors, bushland reserves and dedicated paths for cyclists and pedestrians. It’s clear that the goal is to nurture an active, family-friendly community, driven by a belief that buyers are looking for more than bricks and mortar.

“Lend Lease has hosted a number of ‘Welcome’ events to welcome new residents into the community,” says Mr Moore, “providing them with an opportunity to meet neighbours in one of the many parks. In addition, Lend Lease has nurtured a range of community initiatives such as Park Run, Heart Foundation walking group, Herbalife fitness sessions, Ripple fitness, RPM fitness, Attitude for Fitness, Korean Haidong Gumo, and was integral in the collaboration with Jimboomba Netball Association’s development of The Hot Spot – Yarrabilba’s first pop up café.”

Beyond the parks and open spaces, Yarrabilba already offers public transport services and high speed broadband to residents, as well as a Builders’ Display Village showcasing a range of new homes to potential buyers. (There are 41 homes in the Display Village from an extensive line up of local, state and national builders, ranging from the most affordable options to homes designed for larger families.)

A shopping centre, tavern, sports oval, Bambini childcare centre, BP service station and Catholic primary school are all expected to follow by 2017. Overall, current plans are that the development will eventually include 11 schools, a major Town Centre, two district centres, five neighbourhood activity centres and a business park.

In the meantime, Yarrabilba’s central location comes in handy. The surrounding regions, including Logan Village, Tamborine Village, Jimboomba, Waterford, Browns Plains, Beenleigh, Logan Central and Yatala, offer a range of family amenities within a 20 kilometre drive.

Even before Yarrabilba rolls out most of its own major amenities, residents have access to over 40 schools, 10 shopping centres, 23 community and sports facilities, the recently expanded Logan Hospital, the Logan Institute of TAFE, and Griffith University’s Logan campus within the region.

“A wide range of amenities is very important to families,” explains Mr Moore. “While Lend Lease is committed to delivering early amenity with Yarrabilba, there already exists a wide range of schools, shopping centres, medical services and community, sporting and recreational facilities within a short drive.”

If Yarrabilba’s vision for the community of the future matches yours, you can visit the Yarrabilba website to register your interest, visit the Sales Centre located at Yarrabilba Drive, or call 1800 721 856 for more info.