The great Google barge mystery continues to make waves.
Reportedly headed to Stockton, officials there issued a “hold on a minute” warning and said nothing was official and that maybe it’s actually headed to West Sacramento.
Rick Toft, business manager of the Port of West Sacramento, had an instant response to that on Friday: “I know nothing about the Google barge.”
The massive four-story structure of shipping containers recently was ruled not in compliance to stay at its current home on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. A regulatory order from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission said the barge did not have proper permits to stay at its current site. The barge reportedly had to move within the first week of March.
Then word came down this week from various sources that the barge would be moving 80 miles east to a new home at the Port of Stockton.
Not so fast, Stockton officials said.
A report in The Record newspaper in Stockton quoted Port of Stockton Director Richard Aschieris as saying: “They cannot come (to the port) unless we agree to it … We have no agreement. There is nothing scheduled.”
And then there was this: “If they don’t go to Stockton, my guess is they might go to West Sacramento, unless they’ve decided to throw it in some little marina somewhere.”
Toft said there have been no talks with Google or any plans made about the barge docking at the Port of West Sacramento, and he expressed serious doubts about the physical likelihood of such a thing.
He said it’s much more likely that a barge of that size would end up at a spot with a wide expanse of water, perhaps Richmond or somewhere nearby.
For its part, Mountain View-based Google is not commenting – not a surprise from a company that is typically tight-lipped on matters of publicity.
The very reason for the barge’s existence remains a center of speculation. Some analysts believe it will be a floating showroom highlighting multiple Google products. The company also is building a barge on the East Coast.
Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.