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Former Yahoo CEO’s plans to demolish townhouses for a swimming pool put on hold at City Hall – Palo Alto Daily Post

This story originally appeared in the print edition of the Daily Post on November 4. If you want to get all the local news first, pick up the Morning Post at 1,000 locations.

BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Writer

A representative for former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has submitted plans to the city of Palo Alto to demolish three townhouses and build a swimming pool, but planners are pushing back on the idea because it would result in the loss of much-needed rental housing.

Demolition is proposed at 561-567 Addison Ave., adjacent to Mayer’s House, where four two-story townhouses with garages line up from the street. One of the townhouses would remain and a new grandma unit would be built.

The proposed size of the pool is unclear. The plans were returned on July 1, but city planners and lawyer Chris Wade continued to negotiate and debate the state’s housing law before a formal request was submitted, emails show. obtained through a public registration request.

Albert Yang, the city’s deputy attorney, told Wade on October 27 that the residential units cannot be lost unless they are replaced, so plans should include four new homes.

The San Francisco Business Journal reported that a Mayer-related company, Additto LLC, bought three of the four homes in 2011, paying between $ 700,000 and $ 800,000, then paid $ 6.5 million in 2020 for the fourth.

Mayer owns several houses in the area. His company also purchased a two-block townhouse at 355 Kingsley Ave., a multi-unit home at 529 Addison Ave, and single-family homes at 536 Addison Ave. and 219 Addison Ave, according to the Business Journal. She also owns the home at 551 Addison Ave., next to the proposed pool.

Mayer bought the former Roller & Hapgood & Tinney Funeral Home at 980 Middlefield Road in 2013 to make it a co-working space with classes and events, focused on moms. But residents opposed the plans and after a 2018 city council hearing, Mayer never returned.

This isn’t the first time that a tech titan’s plans for homes in Palo Alto have been rushed by the city. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg attempted to demolish four houses and build four smaller ones for his friends and family in the Crescent Park neighborhood in 2016. The city’s Architectural Review Board called it “Complex” and denied the request, and Zuckerberg ended up demolishing and replacing two.

Tech billionaires typically use LLCs to buy homes, so it’s not always clear who owns them. Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp, reportedly owns seven homes in the Professorville neighborhood, and Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, owns several homes in Old Palo Alto.

Mayer, who was a senior manager at Google for 12 years before taking a leadership role at Yahoo in 2012, currently works at a company she co-founded in 2018 called Sunshine, which uses artificial intelligence to automate tasks. mundane, such as planning. .