Robina has always been a place of new beginnings for leading Gold Coast real estate figure, Darrell Irwin.
Not only did the suburb play a central role in helping launch his successful career – which has seen him orchestrate some of the largest land deals on the Gold Coast – it is also where he met his wife, Karen.
Now, he is returning to where it all started, taking up a new role as development manager at Robina Group – the same position he held for the company from 1994 to 2002.
Darrell said making the decision to leave his high-flying role at Colliers International, where he worked for the past 13 years, including the last two as director in charge, had allowed him to again focus on an area that had always been close to his heart.
This time around, the Robina he is returning to is very different to the one he left 15 years ago.
“It is a remarkably different community today,” he said.
“The Robina Town Centre was still under construction when I first started with Robina Group in 1994.
“We were working on some of big infrastructure projects, including negotiating with Queensland Rail for the Robina Train Station, which opened in 1997.
“I was involved in the sale of the hospital site to Queensland Health, and the sale of the first site in the Robina Automall to Robina Holden.
“The majority of land surrounding Robina Town Centre was vacant and there was no commercial office space.
“Today, CBDRobina includes a thriving health hub, Robina Automall features all major car brands, and there is a flourishing residential and business hub surrounding Robina Town Centre.
“It sounds cliché, but the Robina of today is truly a place where you can live, work and play.”
For Darrell, the return to Robina Group also sparks other fond memories. He met his wife, former marketing manager, Karen, in his early days at the company. The pair married in 1999 and have two daughters – Lauren, 15, and Ellen, 17.
“In my previous role, I was doing a lot of overseas travel, and making the move back to Robina Group will allow me to spend more time at home with the family – and to do a few more ‘school deliveries’,” he said.
“From a career perspective, Robina has always been known as an innovative residential and business location, and I believe we will continue to see the development of vibrant new communities in and around the suburb.”
He has always remained connected to Robina, with two of his last deals for Colliers International – totalling around $6 million in sales – for sites in Robina’s sought-after Stadium Village precinct. The sites sold to Melbourne-based developer Pellicano and a Sydney purchaser, who is planning a purpose-built Anytime Fitness.
In his new role, Darrell will work alongside the Robina Group team to manage sales of the largest single residential community it has undertaken – the $170 million Vue Terrace Homes, which is under construction in the Stadium Village precinct.
Robina Group director Tony Tippett said it was a coup to have Darrell back on board at the company.
“Darrell was instrumental in helping Robina Group achieve so many key milestones in his previous role with the company and he returns after many more fantastic achievements in his role with Colliers,” he said.
“We very much look forward to having him as part of the Robina Group team once again.”
Robina Group general manager Hylton Slater said Darrell’s considerable development expertise across a range of disciplines and his extensive knowledge of Robina were an ideal complement to the Robina Group team.
“We warmly welcome Darrell back,” said Mr Slater.