Google Mystery Barge Ordered To Move Out Of San Francisco Bay

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News Posted: Tue, Feb 4 2014 11:50 AM
Google has been building a secretive barge/showroom/interactive/art installation out of what amounts to giant LEGOs in San Francisco Bay for months, but the company has reportedly been told to move it or lose it. The issue at hand is that Google did not acquire the right permits for the work its been doing.

Larry Goldzband of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission told the AP that nobody filed any permits for construction at the barge’s location, and the Treasure Island Development Authority, which has leased the space to Google for $79,000 per month, could face fines and other “enforcement proceedings”.

Google mystery barge San Francisco Bay
Artist rendering (Credit: By and Large LLC via SFGate)

It’s reportedly unlikely that a construction permit would be issued for the location the barge is currently in, but Google could resume work with permits at a construction facility in the Bay. Worse, there’s reportedly no construction happening at present because, according to Goldzband, Google told him that the U.S. Coast Guard has to ensure that the barge meets certain standards.

The mystery barge project is in a quagmire for now, and it’s not out of the question that this thing could become one of those great oddities of tech lore, a partially-completed floating turd in the San Francisco bay punchbowl, a monument to the failure of a mighty company to cut through red tape.
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I say sink it! Make sure the heads of the project are on it. If Google is going to spend $79,000 a month for renting the slip where it sits, they probably won't miss it or the people who are responsible for the debacle of the project by not getting the necessary permits.

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lipe123 replied on Tue, Feb 4 2014 2:53 PM

Uhm why do you need a building permit to modify a barge?

So If you have a ship docked in a harbor and want to add a shelf to it you need a city building permit - sounds as stupid as it is.

This story sounds more like "Hey guys look! Google is trying to do something, we don't know what it is but we MUST stop them because.. reasons"

Picture is also misleading, making it seem like they are building this thing in front of prime real estate when in fact its more like : http://i.cbc.ca/1.2288282.1383230005!/cpImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/barge-maine.jpg

So once again, its their ship/barge and why can't they do whatever they want to it? Looks no different from any cruise liner under construction.

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sevags replied on Tue, Feb 4 2014 7:58 PM

lipe123; there are many reasons it needs building permits. If it was simply a barge and going to be used as one it might not (though I am sure for safety reasons even a barge would need inspecting for certain design changes?) but if google actually planned for this to be anything like a floating tech showcase/showroom where people come and go, or offices spaces, or even sleeping quarters?? It would definitely need building permits. If they wanted to build this without permits or red tape they should have done it 200 miles off coast in international waters.

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