Following the sell-out of early bird tickets, our team are delighted to announce that Lang Walker AO, founder and executive chairman of Walker Corporation, will be joining the line up for Urbanity ’19.
Lang joins a packed roster of leading industry figures from across Australia and the globe, including Sam Tarascio (Salta Properties), Tessa Bontempo (King Street), Kate Frear (Woods Bagot), William Sharples (SHoP Architects, NYC), Karl Fender (Fender Katsalidis OAM), Jonathan Hallinan (BPM) and more!
The two day event will be held at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane from 23-24 October 2019.
Renowned comedian, presenter and architecture advocate Tim Ross (Man about the House) has also been announced as master of ceremonies to shape the conversation in his own unique, light-hearted and provocative way.
Lang Walker AO is the executive chairman and founder of Walker Corporation, one of the largest private property developers in Australia.
Founded in 1964 with his father Alec, A&L Walker Pty Ltd started as a civil engineering and earthmoving business.
Within six years, Lang and Alec acquired two quarries in Sydney, recycling the materials they excavated through the earth moving business.
In 1972, Lang founded The Walker Group with a renewed focus on development within the Sutherland Shire of Sydney, creating small-scale, strata-titled industrial and commercial centres for small to medium sized businesses.
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Walker Corporation (renamed from The Walker Group) organically, but prolifically, grew a development portfolio that included land subdivisions, residential, office and industrial projects.
After two decades of property development and civil engineering, Walker Corporation sold down a series of completed assets towards the end of the 1980s, just before Paul Keating's famous “recession we had to have” hit the country.
Cashed up, Walker Corporation entered a period defined by high interest rates and subdued activity with an appetite for acquisition.
With a secure bankroll, $2 billion worth of projects and Lang’s aspirations to turn big dreams into a reality, Walker Corporation joined the Australian Securities Exchange in 1994.
The late 1990s saw Walker Corporation deliver a portfolio of high profile, large-scale mixed-use projects in Sydney including the Wharf at Woolloomooloo, Broadway Shopping Centre and King Street Wharf, in addition to student housing in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney.
By the end of the 1990s, his busiest decade to date, Lang sold his shares to Australand Holdings Limited to focus on running his private company – McRoss Developments Pty Ltd, while reserving the rights to reuse the Walker Corporation name after January 2003.
Starting the 2000s from a position of strength, Lang's ambition was the catalyst for the largest private development in Australian history – the transformation of the entire Rhodes Peninsula in Sydney’s inner-west, known today as Rhodes Waterside.
Walker also acquired Hope Island Resort in Queensland, which today houses more than 2,000 families in resort style living.
With a pipeline of over 20 projects across retail, commercial, residential and industrial, Lang decided to sell $1.45 billion worth of assets to Mirvac in 2006, providing capital for further expansion of his portfolio during the global financial crisis (GFC).
By 2008, with foundations in place for international expansion, Walker commenced a major master planned community in Malaysia, Senibong Cove. Situated across 213 acres, this waterfront land in Johor Bahru will eventually comprise 25,000 homes.
Despite the lingering impact of the GFC, Walker ambitiously embarked on what was the largest mixed-use commercial development in Australia at the time, Collins Square in Melbourne’s western CBD.
The six-tower mixed-use precinct, incorporating the renovated southern portion of the historic Goods Shed, provides 260,000 square metres of commercial and retail floor space and is estimated to have an end-value in excess of $3 billion.
With the addition of the redevelopment of the Adelaide city centre through Festival Plaza and Parramatta Square, Walker Corporation's current portfolio stands as one of the premier portfolio's in the Asia Pacific.
The future pipeline includes 40,000 lots of land, 11 commercial towers, 25,000 new homes, 6,000 apartments and 300 hectares of industrial land across Australia, Malaysia and Fiji.
Lang Walker's impact on our cities is rivalled only by the likes of Frank Lowy (Westfield) and Harry Triguboff (Meriton).
With a reputation for tackling projects that others won't, Walker's legacy will be matched only by the size of his vision.
Awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his varied and continual philanthropic efforts within the community, Walker is truly an icon of the industry — an undisputed city shaper.
Lang Walker will appear in an exclusive one-on-one interview with Adam Di Marco (founder, The Urban Developer) at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane on 23 October 2019.