November 2, 2013

Mystery barge may be floating showroom for Google

Evidence indicates the Internet giant will invite wealthy people aboard to check out Google Glass, its wearable computer.

By Tom Bell tbell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Tugboats tow a barge carrying a mystery structure into Portland Harbor at dusk on Oct. 10. The barge was towed to Portland from New London, Conn.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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Floating showrooms would also attract a lot of media attention and public interest. “If it’s not true, what a great idea,” Picard said.

Frank O’Connor, commercial real estate broker with the Dunham Group in Portland, said a floating store could save Google money. He noted that Apple is renting store space in Manhattan for $600 a square foot.

Still, a store should be in a hub of activity, not in the water, he said. “If that is a showroom, I don’t understand the thought process.”

But Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of Creative Portland, a nonprofit that aims to build the city’s creative economy, said she loves the idea of a floating showroom.

Even better, she said, are all the national news stories and social media posts that are linking Portland with San Francisco and Google – America’s hippest city and biggest Internet company.

She noted that “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” showed viewers photos of Portland Harbor and an aerial photo of the Portland peninsula.

Before the “Google Barge” is towed to New York Harbor, she said, she hopes the company will launch its marketing campaign in Portland and open the structure to the public while it’s still in Portland Harbor.

“Google,” she said, “let it stay here for a while.”

Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:

tbell@pressherald.com

 

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Today's poll: Floating barges

Are you curious about the floating barges in the Portland Harbor?

Yes

No

View Results