VI­SION­ARY GIVES BACK

DE­VEL­OPER WAL­TER IEZZI’S PROP­ERTY GROUP IS KNOWN FOR ITS STYLISH PROJECTS BUT IT’S CHAR­ITY WORK WHICH IN­SPIRES THE MAN

Life & Style Weekend - - READ - WORDS: LAYNE WHIT­BURN .......................

“MY DE­VEL­OP­MENTS ALL HAVE BEAU­TI­FUL OUT­LOOKS AND I WANT TO HELP PRE­SERVE THAT FOR FU­TURE GEN­ER­A­TIONS BY DO­ING MY PART IN BE­ING A RE­SPON­SI­BLE BUILDER. ”

De­vel­op­ment and change. Whether you’re a keen sup­porter or pre­fer the ‘good ol days’, the re­al­ity is, the Sun­shine Coast is grow­ing. Lucky we have a de­vel­oper and lo­cal vi­sion­ary like Wal­ter Iezzi. Not only does Wal­ter bring a stylish Ital­ian flair and su­pe­rior crafts­man­ship by cre­at­ing func­tional, in­no­va­tive and beau­ti­ful de­signs, he’s gen­uinely pas­sion­ate about the Sun­shine Coast: it’s en­vi­ron­ment, com­mu­nity and the standard of liv­ing for our in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion. “With our pop­u­la­tion ex­pected to in­crease by 200,000 by 2040 (ac­cord­ing to Bernard Salt) we re­ally need to be look­ing at how we are go­ing to ac­com­mo­date peo­ple who are com­ing for short stays (such as hol­i­days and events) as well as those who are per­ma­nently re­lo­cat­ing here,” Wal­ter said. “We need to cre­ate spa­ces that are alive and hum­ming and that at­tract world-class talent. We need our de­vel­op­ments to be time­less in de­sign.” And that’s ex­actly what he’s been work­ing on over the last three decades of Wal­ter Iezzi Prop­erty Group. “I put my name to ev­ery­thing I do, so ev­ery com­po­nent of ev­ery build­ing must meet my own very high per­sonal stan­dards and com­pro­mis­ing on any­thing is not who I am or what I rep­re­sent,” he said. Some of the Coast’s stun­ning projects to Wal­ter’s name in­clude Saf­fire Mooloolaba Beach, El­y­see Alexan­dra Head­land, The Point Ma­roochy River, Ci­lento Mooloolaba and more re­cently Pin­na­cle Pic­nic Point, Chad­wick Res­i­dences and a newly opened tapas and wine bar in Mooloolaba, The Black­lane… and that’s just scratch­ing the sur­face. But there is more be­hind a Wal­ter Iezzi build­ing than im­pec­ca­ble style and crafts­man­ship. “De­vel­op­ment is im­por­tant to our grow­ing re­gion but so is mit­i­gat­ing any risks that may harm the en­vi­ron­ment,” Wal­ter said. “We are blessed to live in a part of the world that has abun­dant nat­u­ral beauty with many parts that are still pris­tine. “My de­vel­op­ments all have beau­ti­ful out­looks and I want to help pre­serve that for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions by do­ing my part in be­ing a re­spon­si­ble builder. The lo­ca­tion and how a build­ing will fit into the ur­ban foot­print is crit­i­cal for me.” Wal­ter is just as pas­sion­ate about time­less de­sign and the en­vi­ron­ment as he is about the com­mu­nity. As an avid sup­porter of lo­cal char­i­ties, Wal­ter and his part­ner Leisa Toomey find it im­por­tant to give back to the com­mu­nity wher­ever they can to help make a dif­fer­ence to the lives of those less for­tu­nate. “I will never for­get wit­ness­ing a ‘switch on’ this year for Hear and Say, a char­ity we sup­port,” Wal­ter ex­plained. “It would have to have been the most emo­tional mo­ment I have felt in a long time. Even talk­ing about it gives me goose bumps now. To see that lit­tle boy hear for the very first time was amaz­ing and it was a priv­i­lege to wit­ness that mo­ment.” Wal­ter said be­ing able to make such a life-chang­ing dif­fer­ence is the rea­son he is pas­sion­ately com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing chil­dren and fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity. Wal­ter fell in love with the Coast and its com­mu­nity for the main rea­sons many other peo­ple do – the cli­mate and op­por­tu­ni­ties. “Nearly every­one has come from some­where and it’s a re­ally wel­com­ing com­mu­nity. I love that we em­brace new ideas and peo­ple and it’s been an hon­our to have con­trib­uted to the ur­ban foot­print over the years.” Wal­ter’s par­ents em­i­grated from Italy in the early 1960s and set­tled in Bris­bane’s Spring Hill to bring up Wal­ter. To­day the Sun­shine Coast is Wal­ter’s home and he’s in for the long haul. His two chil­dren, Eliarne (28) and Ju­lian (22) were born on the Coast and are proud to call it home. “Fam­ily is very im­por­tant to me and will al­ways be a pri­or­ity in my world,” he said. An­other love of Wal­ter’s is get­ting out on his mo­tor­bike and rid­ing through the wind­ing roads in the hin­ter­land. He says, “it’s the panacea to all things”. While get­ting spare time isn’t the eas­i­est task for a man with an in­cred­i­ble vi­sion and goals set for the re­gion, Wal­ter said he’s lucky to have some amaz­ing women in his life who keep him in­cred­i­bly or­gan­ised. Wal­ter’s part­ner Leisa is a well-re­spected fam­ily lawyer, who was a part­ner at Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers. Fol­low­ing the sale of the prac­tice to Slater & Gor­don, Leisa has taken up a role as Gen­eral Man­ager of Wal­ter Iezzi Prop­erty Group and over­sees the strate­gic di­rec­tion of the group. Leisa, along­side Wal­ter’s of­fice man­ager, Wendy Faith­full, is re­spon­si­ble for the Wal­ter Iezzi Prop­erty Group’s com­mu­nity in­volve­ment. Wal­ter also em­ploys around 100 peo­ple at any given time on his projects and his new bar, The Back­lane, has em­ployed a team of 12. “I am in­cred­i­bly proud to be able to of­fer em­ploy­ment to so many peo­ple,” he said. Wal­ter also be­lieves he’s en­hanc­ing the ur­ban foot­print on the Sun­shine Coast by cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful build­ings that com­ple­ment the area – not a de­trac­tion from it. But at the end of the day, Wal­ter said, “be­ing able to give back to oth­ers less for­tu­nate is prob­a­bly the most sat­is­fy­ing way I am able to give back to the com­mu­nity that has sup­ported me for over 30 years. “I am in­cred­i­bly proud of the jour­ney and can­not wait to open the next chap­ter.”

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