The Google mystery barge, as it has come to be known, has been ordered to relocate. The floating enigma has generated quite a bit of attention and speculation as to its purpose and use, but the attention did not however buy it any free passes. The mystery barge, which has been stationed at Treasure Island for construction, has been ordered to relocate.
The barge had been a hotpoint of speculation as it floated around the bay without much explanation from the company as to its purpose. As the company remained silent about the barge, people began to speculate about it being some sort of information gathering station, or perhaps a high-class party space. Some also guessed it may have had to do with the new Google glass in some way. Google however, decided to eventually burst the bubble’s of speculation by announcing that the barge was going to be used to showcase emerging technologies for guests and invitees.
Now that the mystery has been somewhat stripped away from the barge, the only thing left appears to be its completion. That may not be as easy as it sounds however as the barge, which was being kept at Treasure Island during its construction has recently been ordered relocated.
Following the speculation and attention as to the mystery barge’s use, the Coast Guard looked into the floating structure and shortly thereafter the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) met with Google regarding the barge. Although the nature of the complaints is not fully clear, the BCDC did engage in an investigation of a number of complaints and in the process found that the floating monster’s Treasure Island stay might need to change. The BCDC found the Treasure Island does not possess all the required permits to host the mysterious barge throughout its construction. The culmination of the process is that the Google mystery barge has been ordered to relocated by the BCDC.
Larry Goldzband, director of the BCDC, stated in a quick summary of the Commissions position, “it needs to move.” Treasure Island could face some penalties after being found lacking in the necessary permits for the work being done at its site.
Although it would seem that the mystery has been stripped away regarding the google barge, the barge is being built at what the BCDC is calling a non-permitted illegal location. This may rekindle the speculation regarding what it is that the tech giant is building. Regardless of what exactly the barge is, the BCDC seems determined to see it moved to a permitted facility where it can be constructed “legally.”
Google has reportedly halted construction of the barge until the regulatory jockeying is sorted out. Treasure Island’s development authority had been leasing the building space for the barge for a healthy sum of $79,000 per month. The lease was set to run until August of the current year, but with the new regulatory issues coming to the forefront it is unclear what the Google barge’s future will be.
The Treasure Island development authority has stated that it did not intend to violate any permit requirements and has voiced its plan to acquire the necessary permits to continue with its lease. Some remain skeptical about the chances that any such permit will be granted however, and combined with Goldzband’s statements it would appear that the barge could be looking for a new home soon.
The mystery barge has been ordered to relocate by Goldzband and the BCDC, with Goldzband stating that the commission is “strongly suggesting” that the barge is moved immediately to a location where it can be built legally in a permitted location. Time will show exactly how this regulatory game plays out. For now Google’s floating mystery barge is caught in the middle of a game of regulatory chess.
By Daniel Worku