Despite a report that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is the proud new owner of Palo Alto's oldest funeral home, the owner of the mortuary told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday that the true buyer is a mystery to him.
According to the Palo Alto Online, Mayer bought the 114-year-old Roller & Hapgood & Tinney funeral home and mortuary on the corner of Middlefield Road and Addison Avenue.
"What the heck is she going to do with that place?” neighbor Alan Loveless said, based on that report. “It’s not something I’d want to have in my inventory.”
But according to the funeral home's current owner, Paul Roller, the true identity of the new owner has been kept from him.
"I can assure you, we have had no direct dealings with Marissa Mayer," he told NBC Bay Area, adding that he is very sad to be selling his fourth-generation business because the funeral industry has "devolved." His business closes on Thursday for good.
Over the last seven months, Roller said his attorneys have been dealing with Anne Yamamoto of Addito LLC, a.k.a. 980Middlefield LLC. He has no idea whether that entity is related to Mayer or not.
And Yamamoto wasn't immediately available on Tuesday to comment.
The deal closed Oct. 7, and Roller did not want to discus how much it sold for. The property at 980 Middlefield Road was last assessed for $685,000. Records on that sale are not yet public.
Roller did acknowledge, however, that Mayer, who owns a property two blocks away, has rented out the funeral home parking lot in past years to host a "wonderful Halloween party for children in the neighborhood."
No one is thinking that if Mayer did buy the funeral home, she will keep it, which has been in business since 1951. Instead, some think she would tear down and build something in its place.
The site is reportedly zoned for higher-density residential, up to 21 units.
A Yahoo spokeswoman this week declined to comment on "speculation."