A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project. Click for more photos

Photos of Google's mystery barge

A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project. Photo: Reuters

  • A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project.
  • A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project.
  • A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project.
  • A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project.
  • A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project.
  • A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project.
  • A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project.
  • A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project.
  • A mystery barge under construction while docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco is believed to be part of a Google project.
  • A separate barge in Portland Harbour, Maine, is also speculated to belong to Google.

Google has been ordered to move its "mystery barge" in San Francisco Bay following a series of complaints.

An investigation by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission found that neither the Treasure Island Development Authority nor the city of San Francisco had applied for required permits for the work to be done at the site.

The commission's executive director Larry Goldzband said Google can resolve the issue by moving the barge to one of the fully permitted construction facilities in the bay.

"It needs to move," he said.

Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mirian Saez, director of the Treasure Island Development Authority, said: "we did not intend to violate or circumvent the process."

The authority will try to apply for the correct permits with the commission, she said, noting her agency has not spoken to Google about the issue.

Preliminary planning documents submitted to the port last year showed plans for Google to build an interactive space for people to learn about technology.

The documents ended months of speculation that the barge would be a party boat, data centre or a shop for Google to sell its internet-connected glasses, Google Glass.

Google has had little to say about the barge or another vessel off the east coast of the US.

In November, the company issued a statement that said, "Although it's still early days and things may change, we're exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology."

Goldzband said the construction in San Francisco Bay was not authorised by the agency, and the Treasure Island Development Authority, which allowed the project, could face fines and enforcement proceedings.

The disclosure by the California agency marked the second set of permit problems for the barge project. Late last year, work was halted after the Coast Guard said additional permits were needed.

AP