Apparently Google’s Barges are Going to be $35 Million Retail Stores

December 2, 2013 - Written By Andrew Port

Google is a company that’s known for many things: Its search engine, Android Operating System, Maps, Gmail and so forth. We even know about Google’s secret R&D lab, “Google X”, the lab that focuses on developing futuristic technology like augmented-reality glasses, self-driving cars, and of course balloons that would carry the internet across the globe.  One thing that Google has been a little more quiet about, and has us understandably more confused in general, is the construction of Barges by Google in the Harbor of San Francisco’s Treasure Island. These mysterious floating structures have been in everyone’s peripheral vision for the past few months, due to the fact that, well, they’re on a boat, and they’re Google’s.

Some speculation has come up about them, including the idea that these barges could actually be used to educate people about new and upcoming technology, by the most recent report by The Verge says that they have something else in mind entirely. According to a report recently published by the SFgate Google’s $35 million project, code-named Hanger 3, will consist of three “floating retail stores”, each of which will be docked in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. These details come from a financial report for Turner Construction Co., which is apparently the company responsible for their construction. Google has reiterated that these barges will strictly be for “an interactive space where people can learn about new technology,” unfortunately, and therefore leave us somewhat confused.


Google may run into some trouble with this plan specifically in San Francisco, however, as Bay Conservation and Development Commission Executive Larry Goldzband said that Google needs a permit to moor their barge in the bay for an extended period of time, and with Google trying to remain as tight-lipped as possible, the eventuality of this coming to fruition still teeters somewhat on an uneasy balance that Google is trying to keep level. Goldzband said further that “A floating retail store that is not a bay-oriented enterprise would probably make a lot of jaws drop at a commission meeting…We have told them we don’t want to wait a heck of a lot longer because … the public needs to know what Google is doing.” Hopefully, Google does let us know soon, so that our curiosity might be sated and the Commission’s concerns addressed.


In addition to the information garnered from the Report from Turner Construction Co. about the purposes of the Barges, there are some reports that seem to confirm some earlier rumors and speculations that the Barges would have sails on either side of 80 shipping containers, which are all welded together. We’ll keep you updated about any more information that comes in!