Google mystery barge

The Google mystery barge on Pier 1 on Treasure Island. (Chris O'Brien, Los Angeles Times / November 1, 2013)

Just what is that Google mystery barge?

A floating data center? A Google Glass showroom? A party boat? 

One of the things that seems to have thrown off the sleuths trying to deduce its purpose: They're looking at the wrong lease. 

A week ago, CNET broke the story of the Google mystery barge, in part by using a bunch of clues based on the current leaseholder for Hangar 3 on Treasure Island: a Delaware company called By and Large.

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That's apparently a joking reference to the Buy N Large corporation in the Pixar film "Wall-E." The lease says the purpose is "general office, fabrication, storage of equipment, fixtures, materials, supplies, and other related items."

CNET speculated that the barge might be for a floating data center, in part because Google had permits for such a facility that would use seawater to cool the facility.

However, that lease was signed Aug. 1. The work on the Google mystery barge began late last year. 

In November 2012, the company that signed the lease for Hangar 3 and the surrounding area when work first started was G and K Media, a firm based near Spokane, Wash., that produces special events for large corporations and other clients.

According to the lease, the purpose was "fabrication of a special event structure and art exhibit only and for no other purpose."

The lease was signed by Kris Hemenway-Sheets, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as a line producer for the media production company.

Reached by phone  Friday, Hemenway-Sheets said she had signed a nondisclosure agreement and could not discuss the project.

"I have to remain silent on this for now," she said. "It’s gonna be fun. I'll promise you that."

The involvement of G and K Media would seem to support a report from San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX on Friday that sources had said the structure "will feature luxury showrooms and a party deck" to "market "Google Glass and other gadgets to invitation-only clients."

It's unclear whether G and K Media is involved with the second barge that has been anchored at Portland, Maine. 

After the G and K Media lease expired, work temporarily stopped because Oracle used the surrounding area for its massive appreciation event it holds annually for attendees of OracleWorld. This year, the event was held Sept. 25 and included building a giant concert stage where Maroon 5 played.

By late October, work remained at a halt. Although on Friday, the U.K.'s Daily Mail reported that more shipping containers had been moved to outside Hangar 3, apparently to use on a third structure. 

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