Kin Yick Liong (建益隆) – Real Estate Developer from the 1960s
York Lo: Kin Yick Liong (建益隆) – Real Estate Developer from the 1960s
Left: Kin Yick Liong’s ad for Kin Tak Mansion and King Fung House in Kwun Tong (TKP, 1965-2-11); Right: Kin Tak Fung Industrial Building in Kwun Tong (Landvision)
In the 1960s, Kin Yick Liong Co Ltd was one of the active real estate developers in Hong Kong and had developed at least seven residential/commercial/industrial buildings in HK and Kowloon, all of them except one with the character “Kin” in its names. When the HK Real Estate Developers Association was formed in 1965, Kin Yick Liong and its affiliates Kin Tak Fung Co. Ltd (建德豐) and Tin Tai Investment Co. Ltd (天泰置業, incorporated in 1963, dissolved in 1969) were listed as founding members of the organization. The firm had maintained a very low profile and the only news item in recent decades was when it filed a lawsuit in 2017 against a holding company controlled by Tan Chang-an (譚長安), the founder of the once popular hotpot restaurant chain Tanyoto (譚魚頭) over unpaid rent of $760,000 related to the ground floor unit at 405-419 Lockhart Road in Wanchai owned by Kin Yick Liong.
The founder and owners of Kin Yick Liong are Indonesian Chinese but little info is available about them due to their low profile nature. When the firm was incorporated with $5 million in capital in 1962, the largest shareholder was Lie Boen-kie (李文舉), a native of Nan-an (南安) in Fujian province with one third of the outstanding shares, followed by his wife Hong Tjoe-loei (方類娘) and the 6 remaining shareholders all with the last name Lie residing in various cities in Indonesia – Suryabaya, Semarang, Jakarta and Bandung. Lie Boen-kie was a member of the pro-Beijing Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and during the 1950s he sponsored the construction of a primary school and also built a grave for his mother in his native Nan-An. He died in November December 1975 at the HK Sanatorium at the age of 72 and was survived by three sons and a daughter, eight grandsons and ten granddaughters. (TKP, 1975-12-27) From articles in 1963, it is established that Kin Yick Liong was affiliated with two firms – Nam Yek Hong (南益行) and Yue Liong Trading (裕隆貿易) and they all relocated to 23 Connaught Road Central (since renamed the Heung Lam Building thanks to donations by the Sum family of Blood Protection Co, see article) that year. (TKP, 1963-7-13) The current shareholders of Kin Yick Liong are the grandsons of Lie Boen-kie – Lee Yee-yue (李義裕), Jimmy Lee Yee-liong (李義隆) and Jacky Lee Yee-shing (李義成) by the order of shareholding, the first two also appeared in the original shareholder list in 1962 as residents of Jakarta. Yee-yue and Jimmy are both involved in Nam Yek Hong, which according to business directories is in the storage business. The Lee family is the beneficial owner of 290,000 shares of Hang Seng Bank worth over $50 million and Jimmy Lee was also listed as an attendee of the Annual shareholder meeting of HK Exchange. The only time Jimmy Lee made the headlines was when “Keen Winner”, the horse he co-owned with SHK Properties deputy managing director Victor Lui Ting and Lau Chi-wah won the Hong Kong Derby in 2000.
The original office for Kin Yick Liong before moving into 23 Connaught Road Central was located at 39 Bonham Strand West.
Advertisement for Island Building on Hennessy Road in 1963 (WKYP, 1963-5-15)
In 1963, Kin Yick Liong developed Island Building (香島大厦) at 436-445 Hennessy Road in Wanchai with retail/commercial space in the first three floors and residential units selling for $33000 each. The same year, it also developed Kin Yick Mansion (建益大樓) at 15-15C Belcher’s Street in Kennedy Town.
Ad for Kin Yick Mansion in 1964 (WKYP, 1964-2-3)
In 1965, the firm shifted its focus to the rapidly developing industrial district of Kwun Tong where it developed two residential buildings – Kin Tak Mansion (建德大樓) in 93-115 Hip Wo Street and Kin Fung House (建豐樓) in 33-39 Shung Yan Street. As shown in the ad above, each ground floor retail unit of Kin Fung House was selling for $47040 or for lease at $500 per month while each residential flat of Kin Tak Mansion was selling for $17000. (TKP, 1965-2-11)
In 1970, Kin Yick Liong completed Kin Liong Mansion (建隆樓) at 16-30 North Street which had residential units starting at HK$30000. This was followed by the 13 story Kin Tak Fung Industrial Building (建德豐工業大樓) on a 13700 sq ft site at 174 Wai Yip Street in Kwun Tong. (WKYP, 1970-2-19) In 1971, Kin Yick Liong completed Sum Way Mansion (三匯大廈) at 608 Queen’s Road West in Sai Wan. (WKYP, 1971-11-25)
In 1984, the 19 story Kin Tak Fung Commercial Building (建德豐商業大廈) was completed at 467-473 Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay, not far from the Island Building. According to a report published by Everbright Property Consultancy, the Kin Yick Liong/Kin Tak Fung group also owned 6 retail properties in Causeway Bay aside from the Kin Tak Fung building including the ground floor of 423-425 Hennessy Road, A1 and 1-3F of 475-483 Hennessy Road, 510 Lockhart Road, 64 and 66 Lee Garden Road and 1/F-A of the Island Building in 2004
Sources (other than those cited above):
This article was first posted on 24th February 2020.
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