Seelbach proposes open-air, 'Portland Loo' for Findlay Market - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

High-end porta potty proposed for Findlay Market

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A toilet valued at $100,000? Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Seelbach is hoping to make the royal throne a reality at Findlay Market.

It would be a single, open-air restroom run by solar panels and made of graffiti resistant material. The bathrooms would be open to the public 24/7.

In some neighborhoods, that $100,000 could be used to purchase a home.

If Cincinnati City Council approves Seelbach's idea, it may soon buy the most expensive public toilet in the tri-state.

"One-hundred thousand dollars for a bathroom?" questioned Timothy Tindall, an employee at a Findlay Market vendor.

Most people had the same reaction.

"That's a lot of money that could be going toward a lot better things than a single bathroom," Tindall added.

It sounds excessive, but if you ask Seelbach, the new and innovative addition to Findlay Market would be worth the money.

"With more people, there's more need for public restroom facilities that we just don't have," Seelbach explained.

The concept of these restrooms started in Portland, Oregon and they've been dubbed 'Portland Loo's'.

"We're not going to spend $130,000," Seelbach said. "That's more than we're going to spend. But it is coming from our capital budget. Possibly from our facilities management budget which is exactly what this kind of project is for."

The facility would be cleaned twice a day, and Seelbach said advertising and partnerships could help fund the operating costs.

"A lot of it seems nice, the only thing I'm worried about is the 24/7 part," Tindall added.

Employees like Timothy Tindall worry that the accessibility of the Portland Loo will draw the wrong crowd to Findlay Market.

"A lot of research and thought has gone in to making sure that behavior that we don't want to happen, doesn't," Seelbach said.

The open air design allows police to see if someone is lying down or if there are multiple people in the facility. The extra space is a positive for families and bike riders who need the extra space when using a public restroom.

Councilman Seelbach assured that the open air concept does not threaten your privacy.

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