SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Google’s mystery barge was floating Thursday toward its new home in the California delta after the Internet company was ordered to move it from San Francisco.
The odd-looking, four-story vessel made of recycled shipping containers departed from Treasure Island to comply with a Jan. 31 regulatory order concluding that Google Inc. didn’t have the proper permits to build it there.
Construction stopped on the project late last year.
Google says the barge will serve as an interactive technology center when it’s done. However, various theories have been floated about its purpose. Among the most popular have been that Google is building a party boat or aquatic store.
The vessel’s new home will be Stockton, a city about 80 miles east of San Francisco on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta. The Port of Stockton falls outside the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the agency that forced the barge to leave Treasure Island.
The attention and intrigue surrounding the barge since it was first spotted last fall has been a source of amusement for Google, which issued a playful statement about its new berth.
“It’s been a busy six months for our barge and it’s grown tired of all the attention, so we are moving it to Stockton where it can have a break, enjoy the city’s delicious asparagus, warmer climate and get a bit of rest before its next chapter,” Google joked.