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Vale Lang Walker

  • January 31, 2024
  • by Property Australia
Lang Walker

Lang Walker, the property developer, who sadly passed away last week, helped shape postwar Australian suburban living and created incredible places where people live and work.

Over five decades ago, Lang established Walker Corporation, transforming it into one of Australia’s leading privately owned property company.

Recently, Lang has concentrated on shaping the group’s future, making a strategic decision to maintain a substantial property portfolio worth over $9 billion in key locations like Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

His family said in a statement on Sunday that “Lang loved creating incredible places where people can live and work, but he loved his family more than anything else in the world and his generosity and affection had no boundaries”.

“Our hearts are broken by the loss of a great man who changed the lives of so many people through his visionary projects and philanthropy. His zest for life and his relentless pursuit of perfection lives on within everyone in the Walker family.”

Mr Walker was born in Sydney and worked as a deckhand before establishing A&L Walker with his father Alec Walker in 1964. This later turned into the Walker Corporation which initially focused on earth moving and quarrying.

It later diversified into residential property, developing quarter-acre block subdivisions to meet the growing homeownership needs of the postwar population.

The company expanded its ventures to include apartments, as well as industrial and commercial properties in Sydney’s southern suburbs in the late 1970s.

In 1990, Walker Corporation collaborated with Macquarie Bank to establish the Industrial Property Trust of Australia, a listed entity, which was subsequently acquired by Goodman Group.

Some of the iconic projects he and his team at Walker Corporation delivered include Parramatta Square, Broadway Shopping Centre, Rhodes Peninsula, Woolloomooloo Wharf, King Street Wharf, Hope Island Resort and Collins Square.

He was also renowned for his generosity, reflected in the Walker Family Foundation and its philanthropic partnerships with major community projects, including the Powerhouse Museum at Parramatta, the new Lang Walker AO Medical Research Building – Macarthur and support for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

Walker Corporation Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer David Gallant said Lang has been recognised and regarded as a great visionary, an inspirational leader, and the first to creatively tackle the challenge of urban transformation.

“Lang’s vision will remain an enduring force through the Walker DNA and the Walker Way which he actively passed on – it is embedded in our culture and our modus operandi,” he said. 

Mr Walker was inducted into the Property Council’s Australian Property Hall of Fame in 2017.

Property Council Chief Executive Mike Zorbas said Mr Walker’s contribution to the sector and Australian life was immense.

“Lang Walker was a great son of Sydney. He was a great champion of the property industry and a great contributor to many Australian cities and communities,” Mr Zorbas said.

“Lang lived and breathed property for more than five decades. During that time he housed and employed tens of thousands of Australians while investing in and shaping our cities for the better.

“His induction into the Australian Property Hall of Fame recognised his pioneering works in the property sector and the generosity of his broader philanthropic contributions.

“On behalf of the Property Council of Australia, I extend our deep condolences to Lang’s family, friends and his Walker Corporation team,” he said.

NSW Premier Chris Minns paid tribute to his immense contribution to Sydney.

“From King Street Wharf to Parramatta Square, his enormous legacy can be seen across NSW,” he said.