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Google might have to relocate its mystery barge

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(CNN) -- Google might need a find new home for its giant floating showroom in San Francisco Bay.

No, the company isn't the latest victim of skyrocketing Bay Area real estate costs. It seems Google is under fire from state authorities for not having the proper permits necessary to construct the barge in its current location. The four-story structure is housed in a warehouse at Treasure Island, a small piece of land between San Francisco and Oakland.

The barge rose to fame late last year as a delightful floating enigma in the San Francisco Bay. Originally spotted by a CNET reporter, Google would not comment on the structure's purpose. People had great fun speculating about the barge, guessing that it was a floating data center, a Google Glass shop or a luxury event space.

It was dubbed the Google Mystery Barge.

Eventually, Google killed the mystery, and some of the fun, by announcing the structure was going to be an "interactive space where people can learn about new technology."

But shortly after the story picked up steam, Google hit pause on construction of the barge. The U.S. Coast Guard inspected the structure and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission announced it was meeting with Google about the matter in December. The opening date for the barge was delayed until late 2014, according to CNET, and the boat sat idle in its Treasure Island home.

This week, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission officially notified Google that the technology company did not obtain the necessary permits to construct and lodge the barge at Treasure Island. It is not just the government versus Google. The Treasure Island Development Authority and the city of San Francisco were also called out for not applying for the proper permits.

To get its paperwork into ship shape, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission told The Associated Press that Google can relocate to a different home in the San Francisco Bay, one that is already permitted to do construction.

"We just received the letter from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and we are reviewing it," said a Google spokesperson in an e-mail.

Now the biggest mystery is when, if ever, the project will be finished and open its doors to the public.


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