Google Barge arriving in Stockton this morning

The floating showroom leaves its original home alongside Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay and heads to the Port of Stockton, where Google is said to have signed a six-month lease.

Google Barge, as seen alongside Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. Today, it is arriving in Stockton, Calif., where Google will complete construction on the project. Josh Miller/CNET

Before Google Barge can ply the waters of San Francisco Bay or anywhere else, showing off Google Glass or other Google X projects, it will first spend some time at the Port of Stockton.

Late last month, CNET was first to report that the Google Barge would be moving to Stockton, and this morning, Port of Stockton director told CNET by e-mail that Google has signed a deal to bring the barge project there to complete construction.

In addition, Richard Aschieris told the Stockton Record this morning that the lease was for six months, at the port's standard dockage fee. The Record concluded that works out to about $10,000 a month.

Google moved the barge off of Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay late last night or early this morning, and it is expected to arrive in Stockton in the next hour or so.

The large project, made from dozens of modified shipping containers, generated worldwide interest after CNET reported its ties to Google last October. Since then, however, it has been sitting unfinished and idle due to a lack of proper construction permits.

In early February, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission told Google that it would either have to get the required permit, move out of the bay, or pay fines. Rather than go through that process, Google apparently decided to move to Stockton, which is out of the commission's jurisdiction.

However, Google is still on the hook for rent of $79,000 per month through August for use of Treasure Island's massive Hangar 3 building. All told, Google is said to have put $35 million into building the structure that is coming to Stockton, as well as another one that is currently sitting idle in Portland, Maine. Both are expected to eventually be floating showrooms for various Google products and concepts.

In a tongue-in-cheek statement this morning, Google told CNET that, "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 and warmer climate, and get a bit of rest before its next chapter."

 

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