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September 30, 2013 at 6:00 AM
The residents and retailers of Pioneer Square don’t just want a public loo. They need it. The smell of pee permeating from street corners and alleys is truly unpleasant for visitors. Seattle’s most storied district should elicit fond memories, not disgust and wrinkled noses.
Seattle’s City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on a land use ordinance to allow developer Urban Visions to build a project at 200 Occidental up to a maximum height of 130 feet — or one extra story — “if a freestanding manufactured public restroom structure is acquired and installed.”
They should say ‘yes’ to the deal.
Months ago, Urban Visions offered to comply and purchase an environmentally friendly public toilet called the Portland Loo. (Not to be mistaken with the five $1 million German toilets the city purchased and installed in 2004. According to this 2008 Seattle Times news report, those proved to be disastrous.)
Transporting the Portland Loo to Pioneer Square is expected to cost about $100,000. The developer would be on the hook for the facility’s capital costs, too, bringing the total to as much as $250,000.
What makes this deal extra sweet is the Alliance for Pioneer Square is willing to pay the Portland Loo’s maintenance costs, at least for the first five years. Wish the association would commit to a longer-term deal, but that’s not out of the question. The council may have to revisit costs later, which are estimated to be about $17,000 per year. (more…)