In the past couple of months, we have heard the rumors of Google reportedly preparing some barges near the docks in which Google later admitted was theirs, and that it would be used to help the company demonstrate new products, such as Google Glass for example. It’s definitely a unique concept when it comes to retail space and given Apple’s dominance in retail, with numerous Apple retail outlets around the world, we suppose Google could use the upper hand, at least as far as inventiveness is concerned. However it seems that Google might be running into some legal hurdles with their barges.
According to Google, they planned for these barges to be “temporary technology exhibit spaces”, but according to a report by the SF Chronicle, a confidential report obtained by them has revealed that Google plans on them to be floating retail stores instead. Assuming this is true, Google might have a hard time obtaining permits for them. In order to obtain a permit from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, to moor a barge for an extended period of time requires the owner to submit a legitimate plan involving either maritime or recreational use, neither of which applies to retail outlets.
When asked whether the claims were true, and that Google wanted to use these barges as retail stores, Google stuck to their guns by saying, “While we have explored many ideas in the past around the barges, our current plan, as we’ve stated before, is to use them as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”