Google Barge must find a new home, agency says

A California agency says Google doesn't have permission to construct its floating showroom at Treasure Island and must move to an approved location.

The Google Barge, which has been ordered to move away from Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. Josh Miller/CNET

The Google Barge, still on construction hiatus in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, is going to have move.

On Monday, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission said that Google must move the once-mysterious project away from the Treasure Island pier where it's been docked for months, because it doesn't have the required permits.

According to the Associated Press, BCDC Executive Director Larry Goldzband said that Google must move the barge -- which CNET was first to connect to Google -- to an approved construction location.

The Google Barge, expected to one day be a floating showroom and demonstration space for Google X projects like Google Glass and autonomous cars, has been sitting idle alongside the Treasure Island pier. As CNET reported first in December, the project has been officially on hiatus as a result of inquiries by both BCDC and the US Coast Guard.

The huge structure has had no activity on it since October, with nothing but a security guard on hand to keep strangers away.

Now, it seems, Google will have to both find a new place to complete construction and decide what its plans are for the project. At the same time, it will have to decide what to do with a nearly identical project that is under construction in Portland, Maine.

The BCDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, Google said, "We just received the letter from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and we are reviewing it."

Update, 2:05 p.m. PT: Added statement from Google.

 

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