Hang Hing Construction (恒興建築)

York Lo: Hang Hing Construction (恒興建築)

Hang Hing Construction Image 1 York Lo

Left: Ad for Hang Hing’s Rose Mansion in 1957 (WKYP, 1957-10-7); Right: Hang Hing founder Ko Koon-yui and other leaders of the Shun Tak District Ming Yuen Tong such as Lau Kwok-kwong (劉國光, third from left), Lee Kwan-min (李君勉), Sun Hon-kuen (辛漢權, second from left), Leung Hing-wai (梁慶維), Lee Ting-fan (李定藩), Lau Ting-sun(劉鼎新) and Wong Ching-chung (黃正中)presenting check to Wah KiuYat Po publisher Shum Choi-sang (岑才生) for the relief effort in China in 1991. (WKYP, 1991-7-27)  

Founded by Shunde native Ko Koon-yui (高貫銳), Hang Hing Construction was one of the active property developers in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1957, Hang Hing developed Rose Mansion (玫瑰大廈) at 1 Prat Avenue with flats starting at HK$30000 each and shops at $12000 each. At the time, Hang Hing’s engineering department was located at 1G-H Water Street in Sai Ying Pun while its sales office was located at Room 327 at the Man Yee Building in Central.

Hang Hing Construction Image 2 York Lo

Ad for Hang Hing’s Kai Ning Building in 1957 (WKYP, 1957-10-16)

Also in 1957, Hang Hing developed the 11-story Gallant House (皆寧大厦) on a 8000 sq ft site at 100 Argyle Street in Kowloon with 1000 sq ft flats starting at $31000 each. The article touted its 6 inch thick teakwood floors, multi-colored tiles bathrooms and three elevators.  In 1961, Hang Hing partnered with Cheng Yick-chi of Chiaphua and Lee Shau Kee of Kee Lee (not to be confused with Lee Shau Kee of Henderson Land) to form Yick Kee Investment (翼基置業) and the firm developed Gallant Court (麒麟閣) at 240-246 Prince Edward Road West in 1964.

Hang Hing Construction Wai Lun (2)

Ad in 1961 by Hang Hing for two of its projects in Kowloon – Valiant Court (right) and 239-249 Portland Street (left) (WKYP, 1961-11-2) 

Hang Hing Construction Golden Theater (2)

Congratulatory ad by Hang Hing on the opening of the Golden Theatre in Sham Shui Po which was completed by the firm in 1962 (WKYP, 1962-11-30)

In 1962, Hang Hing had at least 6 properties available for sale including 605-611 Reclamation Street, 239-249 Portland Street, 21-27 Shantung Street and the 9-story Valiant Court (偉倫大廈, 2 units per floor) at 299 Prince Edward in Kowloon. (KSDN, 1962-10-4) The firm also completed the construction of Golden Theatre in Sham Shui Po for Lee Po-lam (see article) the same year based on above ad.

Hang Hing Construction Image 3 York Lo

Hang Hing ad in 1966 listing its five properties available for sale (WKYP 1966-6-18)

In 1966, Hang Hing had 5 properties available for sale: Golden Glory Mansion (金輝大廈) at 16 Carnavon Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Wai Kee House (偉基樓) 64-70 Argyle Street, Kapok Industrial Building (紅棉工業大廈) at 373 To Kwa Wan Road, Mei On Building (美安樓) at 41-47 Hang On Street in Kwun Tong and shopfronts in King’s Road.

Hang Hing Construction Image 4 York Lo

Left: Ad for Chiap Luen Enterprises listing 7 of its properties in 1974 (WKYP, 1974-12-11); Right: IPO notice of Chiap Luen Enterprises in 1973

In the 1970s, Hang Hing founder Ko Koon-yuen served as on the board of Chiap Luen Enterprises (㨗聯企業), the property development arm of the Cheng family’s Chiap Hua Group which also counted Wong Chu-meng of Stelux (see article) as a major shareholder. As the Cheng and Wong families primarily focused on their manufacturing businesses, Ko with his property development expertise was without a doubt a key figure at Chiap Luen. The partnership between Hang Hing and Chiaphua started earlier as the two firms jointly developed the six-story residential building Grand Court (格蘭大廈) at 41-43 Grampian Road in Kowloon back in 1965. (WKYP, 1965-3-17) In 1973, Chiap Luen went public through the issuance of 12 million shares at $1 per share and stock was bid up to $7.4 per share during the height of the stock market bubble that year, only to drop to $0.30 per share when the bubble burst.

Properties developed by Chiap Luen included Glen Haven (嘉麗園) at 117-121 Argyle Street, Gallant Villa (嘉樂園) at 310-310A Prince Edward Road, Chiap Thong Building (捷通大廈, likely derived its name from Chiaphua and Thong Sia, the firms of its two controlling shareholders) at 63-71 Mei King Street, Mai Wah Industrial Building (美華工業大廈) at 1-7 Wah Sing Street and Chiap Luen Industrial Building (捷聯工業大廈) at 30-32 Kung Yip Street in Kwai Chung.

In November 1980, the Cheng family sold their majority stake in Chiap Luen to the Carrian Group for $6 per share and Ko stepped down from the board along with members of the Cheng family including chairman Cheng Yick-chi and his son Cheng Shu-lok. Carrian quickly flipped the stake to its ally, Chung Ching-man of Eda Realty (younger brother of Chung Ming-fai and Cheung Kung-hai covered in the Wah Yuen and E.WahAik San article). As a result, Chiap Luen was renamed Eda Investments in May 1981 and ultimately went under along with the Carrian group in 1982.

Outside of business, Ko was director of Shun Tak District Ming Yuen Tong (旅港順德綿遠堂), a charity for fellow Shunde natives in HK that was founded in 1876. His son Herbert Ko joined Hang Hing after graduation from UCLA in 1975. As a firm, Hang Hing Construction was incorporated in 1967 and dissolved in 2015. The firm was a member of the HK Building Contractors Association with membership number 160.

This article was first posted on 23rd November 2020.

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