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The Google Barge Might Be Displaced to Stockton

Scott Lucas | February 26, 2014 | Story Tech World

Welcome to the Silicon Delta.

A few months ago, we took an imaginative leap and argued that the solution to San Francisco's housing and gentrification woes was to be found in moving to the East East Bay. Though we were just spinning our wheels, we never thought that somebody would actually take our advice. Well, it seems like somebody was listening to us—like Google, which might be piloting its Barge up the river to Stockton.

That's according to a report from CNET, which is picking up rumors that the tech giant is looking to move its mysterious barge project, which is expected to be a showroom for Glass and other projects, to East Bay towns along the water, including Stockton, Richmond, and Vallejo. There's nothing for certain yet, but Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt said that he, "heard through the grapevine that [Google is planning on] moving it up to Stockton." A member of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission said that he's heard of possibilities of moving the vessel to several cities.

The Stockton deal is far from confirmed. In fact, it may not be happening at all. The director of the Port of Stockton told the Chronicle today that he hasn't spoken to Google about moving the Barge. But he did add, "if we were ever contacted by them, I’d be delighted to have them here."

What a difference Stockton's unemployment rate of 14.8% makes. While San Francisco, flush with economic activity, can afford to be a little more picky about mystery barges, Stockton's ready with open arms to cut a deal. Hey no big problem: It's not like that's what happened to the Port of San Francisco in the sixties. Who's going to stand up to protect San Francisco's vital mystery aquatic craft industry?

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