SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Google’s mysterious floating barge on San Francisco Bay will feature luxury showrooms and a party deck for the tech giant to market Google Glass and other gadgets to invitation-only clients, multiple sources told KPIX 5.
The project, which has been in the planning stages for more than a year, was created at Google[x], the secret facility that Google reportedly runs near its corporate headquarters in Mountain View. It is personally directed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and is Google’s attempt to upstage rival Apple and its chain of popular retail stores, sources said.
A source who has been onboard the vessel, which is moored off San Francisco’s Treasure Island under tight security, told KPIX 5 the first three floors are designed to serve as “dazzling showrooms” that can be outfitted with chrome features and floor lighting. There is an upper “party deck” meant to feature bars, lanais and other comforts so Google can fete its upscale customers.
The building is constructed of interchangeable 40-foot shipping containers that can be assembled and disassembled at will, allowing it to be placed on barges, trucks or rail cars and taken anywhere in the world, the source said. Google could send it to a ski resort one day and then have it shipped to the beach a few days later.
The project has been delayed in part because the U.S. Coast Guard labeled the building a “floating vessel” that requires federally approved safety features.
“Coast Guard personnel have been on-board to conduct routine inspections and ensure compliance with…regulations,” Coast Guard Lt. Anna Dixon said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
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