Happening Now

The City is moving forward with the purchase and installation of a prefabricated public restroom facility to be located in the public space on the College Street side of the Rankin Avenue parking garage. Installation will be completed in summer 2024. 

The first phase of construction started on April 15 and involves connecting utilities to the restroom location as well as fulfilling supporting sitework including landscaping and concrete work. This phase is expected to be completed in early July. Fencing is installed around the site to ensure safety on the premises. While the contractor is working on site, the vehicular and pedestrian entry/exit from Rankin Avenue Parking Garage onto College Street is closed. After work is completed each week, the College Street entry/exit to the Rankin Garage is reopened for the weekend. The contractor’s weekly site work ends on either Thursday or Friday, depending on construction scheduling.

Trees in the project area were pruned in late March, and the City is coordinating with Duke Energy on new street lights as well as new lighting within the site. Security cameras will also be added to the site (attached to the Rankin Garage) and are planned for installation in May.



This project is being funded with American Rescue Plan Act Funds. City Council voted at their May 10, 2022 meeting to allocate $650,000 toward the modernization and upgrade of downtown restroom facilities. 

The primary goal for the prefabricated restroom facility is to provide a public restroom that is safe and accessible 24/7. A safe, activated downtown urban space with a public restroom in this location will improve urban livability, provide inclusive access to amenities that support public health and cleanliness conditions, and provide flexible opportunities for cultural and economic activity. 

Stakeholder groups including homeless service providers, downtown businesses, local residents, the Asheville Downtown Association, Downtown Commission and tourism/hospitality sector representatives have long advocated for additional access to well-maintained public restroom facility.

  • The prefabricated unit type (i.e. Portland Loo or similar) was selected because of the following:
    • It’s durable. The materials and structure are resistant to vandalism and built to last. 
    • Relative ease and efficiency of maintenance. The design and materials are consistent with industrial use to simplify maintenance and daily care. 
    • It’s sanitary. The unit is hooked up to water and sewer to support clean restroom and handwashing use.  
    • It’s ADA accessible. 
    • It’s designed with elements that promote safety and discourage misuse/illegal activity. 
    • It’s the most cost effective option for the City to provide 24/7 restroom access on an on-going basis.  
  • The location was selected based on:
    • Convenience and visibility (proximity to need)
    • Utility access and feasibility
    • Location relative to existing public restroom facilities
    • ADA accessibility
    • Opportunity for improvements to the public space, including public safety and accessibility enhancements
    • Not located directly in front of a storefront/business/residential building
    • Not displacing existing programming/successful use 
    • Positive initial feedback received from community members 
    • Other temporary restrooms put in-place during COVID generated significant negative feedback (Wall Street, Pritchard Park) 

The public was invited to provide feedback on conceptual design options for the site through an online survey from 8/10 – 8/26, 2023. The results of the survey are viewable here

 survey results


A drop-in public meeting was also held on on Thursday, August 10, 2023. Attendees were invited to provide feedback on the three conceptual design options in order to best support a safe, accessible public space and restroom facility in this location.

At the meeting, City staff along with the design team providing landscape architectural and engineering services and facilitating the purchase of the facility provided background on the project and received feedback on the conceptual design options. 

View background information and the concept designs here

Input received informed the final design concept of the space, viewable below.  





2022 – Site analysis of potential locations

Spring 2023 – Consultant selected for design services; conceptual site options developed

Summer 2023 – Input opportunity on conceptual design including restroom siting

Fall 2023 – Final design development 

February 2024 – Council approval for restroom purchase and construction contract (see more info)

March 2024 – Site work including tree pruning begins

April 2024 – Construction

Late July 2024 – The Portland Loo restroom will be delivered via crane, followed by two weeks of installation and inspection work 

August 2024 – The restroom facility opens to the public


Supporting Documents


Contact Information

Susannah Horton – Project Manager, Capital Projects

Dana Frankel – Downtown Planning Manager, Planning & Urban Design





Start Date

July 2023

Completion Date

August 2024

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