Google barge, kicked out of S.F. Bay, gets warm welcome in Stockton

The arrival of Google's barge in Stockton has given a city beleagered by bankruptcy and negative press a jolt of excitement and hope.

Some see the arrival of the tech giant's barge -- believed to be some sort of floating showroom -- as a potential boost to the economy and a move to help counter its negative image.


"There are a lot of good things in Stockton, and good people," resident Susan Filios, 53, told the Stockton Record. "We deserve this."

Google's barge, which arrived in Stockton on Thursday, is made from dozens of shipping containers. It will be housed at the Port of Stockton for six months while the company completes construction of the boat after a state agency said the company did not have permission to build it in San Francisco Bay.

Initially Google was secretive about its barge, sparking a guessing game last year when it was first discovered by a CNET reporter. The tech titan later said it was creating some kind of floating showroom.

But in February the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission ordered Google to relocate the barge because the company did not obtain the proper permits to build it at the port.

Even if the barge doesn't translate to an economic boost for Stockton, it could help raise the profile of the area and promote a possible extension of Silicon Valley into San Joaquin County.

Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva said the barge could give other companies an incentive to make their way into the city.

"If Google is going there, maybe there is a reason we should go there, too," Silva told the Record.