The Walker Journey
Our story began in the sixties when Lang Walker and his father, Alec, established A & L Walker Pty Limited in New South Wales. The company started life as a plant hire and earthmoving contractor, tapping into a rich vein of growth in the State, as it embarked on a period of growth that would shape it for decades to come. Alec’s decision to lease a quarry in Sydney proved canny: the quarry would supply crushed rock and aggregate for major public works projects across Sydney, including the breakwater to the runway at Sydney Airport. It was the first step in the Walker Corporation journey.
The establishment of The Walker Group by Lang in 1972, saw the company shift its focus and specialise in the construction of new roads as well as undertake subdivision development. Five years later, the Group added to its active portfolio, commencing residential development work. By the end of the decade, the Group had expanded its skills further, undertaking the development of a variety of small office complexes and small to medium density residential projects in southern Sydney.
Capitalising on its success in NSW, the Group now moved north, tackling subdivision projects in Brisbane, as well as Sydney. To strengthen the Group’s capabilities, Walker Constructions Pty Limited was also established to deliver building work for the Group’s growing development projects. By the late 1980s, the Group’s activities were focused on industrial and residential development and civil engineering projects in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This new focus brought with it a new name and in 1988, Walker Corporation Pty Limited was born.
In synch with an economic boom, the 1990s saw a period of significant expansion and growth for Walker Corporation as it cemented its name as a leader in its field across all operational sectors, and in particular in the retail and residential property development markets. In 1993, the company established and jointly managed the listed trust, The Industrial Property of Australia Trust with MBL. A year later, in February 1994, Walker Corporation also went public and commenced trading on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Following the public float, Lang Walker remained as Managing Director of the newly named Walker Corporation Limited. Lang was responsible for overseeing the delivery of over $2bn worth of projects that employed some 375 full-time staff. These projects ranged from university housing developments in Sydney and Melbourne to the construction of major residential hubs in the growing Sydney suburbs of Chatswood and Balmain. The company also breathed new life into The Wharf at Woolloomooloo and Wharves 9 and 10 of King Street Wharf in the heart of Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Meanwhile, in the industrial sector, the company successfully constructed the Parkwest Industrial Estate in Melbourne and three major distribution centres for Coles Myer, with two located in South West Sydney and one in Brisbane.
A decision to sell his shareholding in the company in 1999 to Australand Holdings Limited, saw Lang Walker depart the Group he had founded and take on the challenges of running his own private development company, McRoss Developments Pty Limited. But his spirit and name survived – like his father before him, Lang was canny in his decision-making and reserved the rights to re-use the Walker Corporation name after a period of five years. Meanwhile, he concentrated his efforts and business acumen on delivering a range of major projects under the McRoss banner, including industrial sites for ACI and Smorgon in Sydney, the development of the George’s department store in Melbourne into state-of-the-art office and retail spaces, a US$40 million housing estate in the exclusive Aspen ski resort in Colorado, USA and the 100% ownership and management of the Broadway Shopping Centre in Sydney.
Five years after he’d shifted his focus and name, Lang Walker was back, exercising his right to re-use the name Walker Corporation once more, and reverting McRoss Developments Pty Ltd to a much more familiar brand, Walker Corporation Pty Ltd.
With its name now once and for all re-established and its reputation continuing to grow, Walker brokered the largest private real estate sale in Australian history, divesting some $1.25bn worth of selected assets to Mirvac Ltd and a select group of companies. The sale provided Walker Corporation with the opportunity to further hone its skills and focus on a diverse range of 20 key projects across the residential, retail, commercial and industrial sectors and strengthened its balance sheet in a time of global financial market uncertainty.
While the GFC impacted a number of global markets, Walker Corporation’s determination to deliver remained unhindered. Construction commenced on a range of high profile projects, including the iconic Collins Square in Melbourne, Australia’s largest commercial development. At the same time, and as further proof of the company’s vision and strength, the rezoning of the 12,000-home Buckland Park master-planned community project in South Australia was approved.
Today, we continue to grow and develop our potential while delivering to our client’s expectations. We are Australia’s most successful private property developer with projects across Australia, Malaysia and North America.
We have continued to diversify our operations and are active across residential, commercial, industrial and retail property sectors. We are a partner of choice for a range of businesses and government departments, bringing positive change and turning visions into reality. Our current projects total around $4bn, and we have a strong pipeline for growth. We are well equipped to tackle the future and continue our journey.