Google Barge Now Rumored To Be Floating Retail Center: Builder Report

In the beginning, the barge moored to Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay was thought to be a floating data center. Then it was supposed to be a floating high-end show room and party venue. Now we're hearing that the mysterious Google barge is actually a floating retail center. It could even headline Google Glass.

The latest hypothesis about the nature of the project comes by way of the San Francisco Chronicle. That publication recently obtained a confidential budget report from a builder involved with the project. In the budget report, Turner Construction Co. says the barge is to be "a floating retail store." The barge is one of three being constructed. Their ultimate destinations are San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Corroborating this hypothesis is Treasure Island Development Authority director of operations Mirian Saez. According to the Chronicle, Saez "says Google reps told her 'this would be an important opportunity for the launching' of their Google Glass computer eyewear next year." This statement echoes past rumors.

Whatever the veracity of this latest report (documents or no documents), the barge-as-retail-store concept would be a tricky one for Google to pull off from a bureaucratic and political standpoint. Barge designers' original application reports to the Port of San Francisco studio talked of studios and temporary exhibit spaces, but retail regulations are a bit dicier when it comes to permanent mooring permits.

The one thing everyone seems to agree on in this whole saga?

It floats.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle