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Google’s Floating Showroom Dreams Sunk, Mystery Barge to Be Dismantled and Sold

You might say their ship has sailed. And then you might have no friends.


One of Google’s “mystery barges” will vanish as mysteriously as it arrived, which means we’ll never get to sit around and envy the rich and famous who would be invited to attend its anticipated swanky party for the floating showroom’s opening. Now it has made its way from Portland Harbor to Turner’s Island Cargo Terminal, where it will be dismantled. But why? It is a mystery. Kind of.

It seems that Google’s finances may have sprung a leak over the expenses involved with building a showroom on a freaking boat. Luckily for Google, that metaphorical leak is easy to overlook when it’s dribbling out of their metaphorical ocean of very non-metaphorical cash.

Still, the barge has to go, possibly because of the reported $400,000 Portland has raked in from property taxes paid by Google to keep the boat in the harbor. TheĀ Portland Press Herald reports that the ship was purchased from Google by an “unnamed ‘international barging company,'” because apparently these barges have a thing for mystery.

So what does nega-Google this totally normal barging company want with Google’s barge full of future gadgets? Well, the barges ran for about $4 million when they were first built back in 2011, so they likely just want to pick up a used barge on the cheap, and Google was probably looking to sell. It’s likely they didn’t get all the neat tech along with it, as they’ll be tearing down Google’s four-story showroom forever in the near future.

Google’s other barge is still hanging around Stockton after it was forced to leave San Francisco, but it appears to be paid up until October on its expensive monthly docking fees. So only time will tell whether Google is abandoning the barges entirely or if we’ll someday get to gaze from the shore in wonder as people way more important than us get to check out what’s inside.

(via Gizmodo, image via cloud2013)

Previously in Google’s mysterious ways

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.