Regulators: Hey Google, move that barge!

Google's barge in the San Francisco Bay

Footage from KPIX

Google needs to find a new home for its floating mystery barge.

The Bay Conservation and Development Commission in California told Google that its floating behemoth can’t continue to reside where it is in the San Francisco Bay, according to a report by the AP. The company is welcome to move the barge, which was first spotted last fall, to one of the Bay’s permitted construction facilities, but the Coalition found that nobody secured the appropriate permits for the barge to be built where it is right now.

It seems likely that Google will keep the barge in San Francisco, considering that the company usually holds its annual Google I/O conference in the city, and is based in nearby Mountain View. According to earlier reports, the barge, and its counterpart in Maine, are slated to be floating showrooms for new technology from Google, and will also include a party deck on the top floor of the four-story building.

Many observers have drawn parallels between the barges and retail efforts from Microsoft and Apple, which are designed to give users some hands-on time with new tech before buying it. But instead of trying to open a whole network of stores, it seems like at least for the moment, Google is working on creating one store that will float up and down each coast of the U.S., generating buzz for products like Glass.

Still, the barge could present a new set of regulatory challenges, as the company will have to contend with regulators every step of its journey. For its part, Google is remaining mum on what its next move is for the barge in San Francisco, saying in an e-mail to GeekWire that it is “reviewing” the letter from the Commission.

So hey, Google, if you need a place to store your barge in the meantime, why not Seattle?

  • Guest

    Dear regulators,

    Remember when Gmail went down? The second your jackbooted thugs cut our barge’s mooring cables, Gmail service to all regulators and to the members of their Google+ circles will cease. You have 36 hours to rescind this order.

    Yours in Christ,
    Google Mail & Barge Co.