updated 12:36 pm EST, Fri February 28, 2014
Barge will move despite lack of agreement with Stockton
Google is moving its mysterious barge construction to Stockton, California, according to a report. The move, which will allow Google to set itself free from its current San Francisco permit issues, is apparently news to the new location, with the Port of Stockton Director claiming not to have received any plans from Google or any holding company for the barge transportation.
The search company reportedly advised the Treasure Island Development Authority last week that it would be moving the barge to Stockton within a 30 day period, according to CNET. The barge is said to have been left dormant since October, with Google having recently been told by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission to either secure permits or move the barge within a 35-day grace period, or start paying fines of up to $30,000.
Google construction on barge
Moving to Stockton could cause even more issues for the company, despite escaping the BCDC's threat. Port of Stockton Director Richard Aschieris advised he had not been contacted by Google, that the company did not have any permits to work at the dock space, and it is something that is typically negotiated in advance of any movement into the port.
A render of the completed barge construction
"We have many potential users or representatives of users contacting us all the time. It's relatively easy to collect information on our facilities, but they will still have to eventually contact us and get an agreement in advance of arrival," said Aschieris. He suggests that for any potential move, "that there would have to be at least some sort of minimal planning," though he would "love to have" Google at the port.
The barge is thought to have cost Google somewhere in the region of $35 million to construct, with a number of signature sails said to take up $350,000 of the construction budget. The exact purpose of the barge remains unknown, with the general consensus being some form of Google X retail experience, with an earlier comment from Google calling it an "interactive space where people can learn about new technology."