Portland Loo Frequently Asked Questions


The Alliance is currently working on a project to explore options for public restrooms in the area. After review of different models and locations, the task force has chosen the “Portland Loo” as the preferred option.

Why is Pioneer Square considering installing public restrooms?

The Alliance for Pioneer Square works with a wide spectrum of community stakeholders to create a vibrant neighborhood for everyone and to build Pioneer Square’s economic strength.  Pioneer Square is a challenging neighborhood located at the nexus of mass transit, multiple stadiums, a robust upper floor business economy, major tourist attractions and human services. In order to have a welcoming environment, amenities including public restrooms are necessary that are accessible by all Seattle residents and visitors.

Is this a stand-alone project?

No. This project is part of a larger plan designed to improve the overall business health of Pioneer Square. The areas of focus include: Pedestrian and Built Environment, Marketing and Promotion, Business Development and Neighborhood Advocacy.

How did the idea come about?

In 2010, more than 35 neighborhood stakeholders came together to create Pioneer Square 2015: A Strategy for Seattle’s First Neighborhood. From this action plan the Alliance for Pioneer Square headed a task force that included neighborhood business owners, residents, property owners and representatives from the City of Seattle. The task force explored multiple options to address the lack of public restrooms before coming to agreement upon the installation of the Portland Loo.    https://allianceforpioneersquare.org/what-we-do/neighborhood-plan/

What is the city’s role in this initiative?

This community-led initiative is supported by the City of Seattle. The task force has worked with the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Planning and Development and the Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities on researching the feasibility of the Portland Loo.

How is the Portland Loo different than other public restrooms?

The Loo is uniquely designed to provide privacy and security features not offered with other models. (see back of sheet for more information)

How is the ongoing cleaning and maintenance managed?

The Alliance for Pioneer Square will fund and manage the ongoing cleaning and maintenance.

Why is it called a Portland Loo if it will be in Seattle?

The City of Portland developed and patented it.

Is it really expensive?

The initial cost of the Portland Loo is $90,000 plus shipping and installation. Ongoing maintenance and cleaning is budgeted at $40,000 per year per unit.

Portland Loo Facts

  • Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Exterior hand washing stations serve pedestrians
  • Cleaned several times daily
  • ADA-accessible
  • A bicycle or stroller easily fits inside

The Portland Loo offers privacy and security at a fraction of the cost of other stand-alone restroom models.


The Portland Loo offers personal privacy and public access. Top horizontal louvers and bottom angled louvers create a well-ventilated interior with complete visual privacy.


The Portland Loo is made with minimum parts and materials and is delivered on-site as a complete enclosure. With water and sewer hook-up, the loo can fit in a six foot wide by 10 foot long parking space. The compact, modular Portland Loo is affordable and functional.

Easy to Maintain

The Portland Loo’s commercial hardware and durable stainless steel fixtures resist misuse and ensure longevity. Anti-graffiti coating covers all interior and exterior surfaces.

Energy Efficient

The Portland Loo can operate off the electrical grid, powered entirely by solar-powered LED fixtures.



Additional Questions? Contact the Alliance for Pioneer Square at 206-667-0687