We might not know the true purpose of Google’s mystery barges until they finally open up to the public, but yet another report has called into question whether or not Google has been misdirecting the media with its official statements. SFGate uncovered a budget report that not only reveals the $35 million cost of launching the three barges, but also the apparent intent of the launch: “floating retail store[s].”
Google released a statement earlier this month which claimed that the barges would be used as “interactive space[s] where people can learn about new technology,” but also noted that plans could change. Although Google representatives told SFGate that plans have not changed, the budget report is an incriminating piece of evidence to the contrary.
If Google does plan to turn the barges into floating retails stores around the country, Bay Conservation and Development Commission executive Barry Goldzband believes that it would take a lot of convincing before the Internet company would be allowed to open the stores.
“The commission is going to ask, ‘Is there an alternative (land) location for this program to occur?’ ” Goldzband said. “If there is, then the commission is going to have a very difficult time convincing the public there should be something happening on the bay.”