- Marissa Mayer has laid out a proposal to turn a former funeral home into a facility that serves women and families in the community.
- In the past, the ex-CEO of Yahoo has used the building to throw wild Halloween parties.
- Residents in the area were not happy when Mayer threw the parties, and some are not any happier with the tech executive’s newest idea.
If you’re wondering what Marissa Mayer has been up to since she left her job as Yahoo’s CEO last year, you may be surprised to learn that the answer involves a funeral home, a women’s club and some contentious neighbours.
The former Yahoo CEO appeared in front of Palo Alto’s city council on Monday night to present her plan for something called the Corner House on Addison.
According to Mayer’s proposal, the “Corner House” is a center for women and families that would “provide a vibrant, welcoming space for traditional and non-traditional professionals to collaborate, work, learn, find support, build community, and spend time with their families, friends, and neighbours.”
The problem is the location.
The future home of the women’s center is an old mortuary that Mayer has owned since 2013. Mayer bought the 1.16-acre land, once the site of Palo Alto’s oldest funeral home Roller & Hapgood & Tinney, for $US11.2 million in October 2013, according to the Palo Alto Weekly
Since buying the property, Mayer has used it to throw lavish Halloween parties for Silicon Valley bigwigs.
Now Mayer is looking to breathe new life into her funeral-home-turned-haunted-house. The proposal for the space says the facility is specifically geared toward women and their families with an emphasis on “the welfare and success of our (female/mother) workforce.”
But not everyone is thrilled about Mayer’s plan to re-incarnate the morgue.
Members of the Palo Alto community where the Mayer’s land is located – which is also just a few blocks from where Mayer herself lives – did not react to the proposal with open arms. Area residents told CBS’ San Francisco affiliate KPIX they were concerned the center would bring noise and traffic that would be disruptive to the neighbourhood.
Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer comes to #PaloAlto’s Council meeting to pitch what she hopes will be her next venture- turning a former funeral home into a center for women and families. Read the Staff Report here: https://t.co/hndZhRVduT pic.twitter.com/sL2ACc3h6o
— City of Palo Alto (@cityofpaloalto) October 2, 2018
While the project description paints the picture of a community center and shared workspace, the center is largely members-only for those who can shell out money for classes, workshops and speakers. The facility also plans to hold “outdoor events with amplified sound” lasting until 10 p.m. and indoor events that go to midnight – which sound suspiciously like vague hints at concerts and parties.
No more halloween parties
Mayer is familiar with pushback from her neighbours, some of whom have objected publicly to her “blow-out” Halloween parties hosted at the funeral home. Mayer did not respond to a request for comment.
For now, the project appears to be in a sort of bureaucratic limbo.
Mayer’s presentation to the council was simply a prescreening, and largely focused on discussing local zoning regulations that designate how the land can be used. Her proposal could spend months cycling through the local government system before a decision is made to approve it or not.
Mayer has separately been working on a new tech company named Lumi Labs, she told the New York Times in April. It was her first interview since she left Yahoo in June 2017.
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