There is no way you would be able to build on land without permits and multiple inspections while building anywhere in California but what if your building on the water - different story perhaps. Maybe that's why no permit can be found. The same codes wouldn't apply. A clever way to get around delays. More clutter to the Bay Area. It isn't the same as when I was a kid - don't even enjoy visiting anymore.
But the concealment effort surrounding the barge is in another league. Chain-link fences and security guards encircle a pier and a couple of nearby buildings on the island, which sits between San Francisco and Oakland.
A California state inspector, who said he had business in the hangar-like Building 3 where some of the early construction took place, told Reuters he had to surrender his mobile phone and sign a confidentiality agreement in order to enter.
Bob Jessup, a construction company superintendent who works in a building across the street, said Google spent the past year working on the project. He said they fenced off a wide area and brought in at least 40 welders a day, who worked around the clock and refused to say a word.
"They wouldn't give up any of the information," Jessup said. "It was a phenomenal production. None of them would tell us anything."
He said they worked on the inside and the outside of the shipping containers, outfitting them with electronics - "very hush hush" - and then loaded them onto the barge with a crane. They put sides on the containers, with glass windows in some of them. They had to weld them very precisely so they could stack, Jessup recounted.
We have found at least three barges, two with container structures on them, all marked with the letters “BAL” followed by four numbers. The two barges located at Treasure Island are identified as BAL0010 and BAL0001. A similar barge in Portland, Maine is identified as BAL0011.
A document provided to KPIX 5 by the Treasure Island Development Authority confirms a tenant of Hangar 3, which sits directly across from the barges, is called By and Large or BAL. Three other tenants lease space at the hangar.