Last week, a contemporary art-filled villa tucked into the hillside overlooking Beverly Hills, Calif., sold for $12.6 million to a buyer from Mainland China. Originally built in 1964, the unprepossessing midcentury modern was radically reimagined in 2013 as a slick, ultra-contemporary architectural. The seller, Mexican heir and art collector Alex Hank, subsequently redecorated the property in an effusively bold, colorful manner.
The $12.6 million number is great deal of money, of course, but records reveal it’s also $300,000 less than what Hank paid for the crisply updated structure about five years ago, back in November 2014. Combined with taxes, fat realtor fees and maintenance costs — not to mention major moolah spent redoing the interiors — it seems likely Hank suffered a seven-figure loss on the premises.
Not that the photographer-turned-painter has to worry about such trifling monetary concerns. Hank is a son of Carlos Hank Rhon, a business tycoon who long revered as one of Mexico’s wealthiest men — Forbes estimates his vast fortune to be worth $2.1 billion. The Hank family presides over a multi-billion-dollar construction and financial empire, though they’re probably equally famous for their occasionally tense relationship with U.S. law enforcement officials, who have previously alleged the clan has deep ties to Mexico’s drug trade and are also involved in money laundering.
All that hasn’t dissuaded the younger Hank from fashioning himself enviable stateside home(s); he apparently divides his time between Manhattan and L.A., where he’s acquired and displays his significant contemporary art collection. And as his former Beverly Hills house attests, he has quite the eye for design.
In contrast to its glitzy interiors, the Trousdale Estate abode is modest to the point of obscurity from the street out front, with just the three-car garage and slab-sided front facade visible behind the driveway gate. A skylit-covered atrium leads past tall grasses to the all-glass front door, which pivots directly into a starkly modern great room with dining area and marble fireplace. The gourmet eat-in kitchen features pricey Calacatta marble countertops and a bevy of high-end appliances, while the adjacent screening room has two plush couches.
All four of the home’s bedrooms are ensuite, with the master featuring a fireplace and walls of Fleetwood sliders opening directly to the outdoors. The backyard, while not especially huge, includes a zero-edge swimming pool with raised spa, an L-shaped patch of grassy lawn, and a wee cabana with a firepit and space for lounging and al fresco dining.
Best of all, the property sports a slice of those quintessentially L.A. jetliner views, which — in this instance — sweep over downtown Beverly Hills and summit at the Century City skyline before journeying to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island on the distant horizon.