Retracing the Hang Lung Path
A Secret Tunnel Built Under Kornhill 35
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    On a tranquil hillside in the Eastern District of Hong Kong Island rises Kornhill, home to 6,000-plus families.


    Who would have imagined that the project once faced tremendous challenges during its construction?


    Mr. Nelson Yuen, former Managing Director and current Independent Non-Executive Director of Hang Lung Properties, shares the story behind the project: when Hang Lung commenced the development of Kornhill in the 1980's, the area was plagued by a substantial number of critical construction issues.


    Originally a rocky mountain, the land parcel upon which Kornhill now stands came under the hammer at a discounted price, one that hinted at the high construction cost that the winner would have to bear. 


    "The odds were still in our favor, though; it was the first inexpensive land we had won in an auction, and the site facilitated construction in phases, which meant buildings could be erected progressively on different portions of the land subject to readiness."


    The high construction cost was largely due to the "mining" procedure, Yuen explains. "Developing the rocky hill entailed a preliminary phase that resembles mining, in which massive explosives were used to crush the rocks with the remains being carted away." With access to the major thoroughfare of King's Road denied, Hang Lung built a railway tunnel beneath the hill to Lei King Wan, where boulders to be sent for reclamation.


    "You could say that we contributed to the reclamation of Lei King Wan's construction site," says Yuen with a smile.


    The entire process spanned almost three years. It's a pity that the tunnel has been buried and with the completion of the project, erasing every trace of its extraordinary past.


    Isn't this a convincing testament to the proverb, "Rome wasn't built in a day"?

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