Fairfax Grants Final Approval to Transform Former Lorton Prison Into Mixed-Use Development


July 29, 2014

News Highlights

  • Today’s action is the final step needed to move towards construction, making a historical preserved and adaptively former prison site a mixed-use redevelopment.
  • Lorton Prison will become home to 412 apartments, 157 new townhomes, 24 new single-family homes, shops and offices.
  • Development is divided into two phases, with the first starting this October.

In the final step required to transform the former Lorton Prison into a mixed-use community, Fairfax County approved a master development agreement today.

This action means that the project may move forward toward construction. The Board of Supervisors signed off on the agreement at their July 29, 2014, meeting.

Under this legal and financial agreement with the county, The Alexander Company and Elm Street will redevelop the site 80-acre Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area.

The plan calls for preserving and reusing former prison buildings while providing up to:

  • 412 market-rate residential units, including up to 225 apartments in former prison dorms and workshops, 157 new townhomes, six condos and 24 new single-family homes
  • 110,000 square feet of retail and office space
  • 20,000 square feet in civic or community space

The development is divided into two phases.

The first phase, expected to break ground this fall, calls for 165 apartments by fall 2016 and 107 new homes by 2020.

The project’s second phase is expected to begin in late 2016. It includes 60,000 square feet in new commercial and retail space, 50,000 square feet in adaptive reuse commercial space, 74 townhomes and six condos.

Per the agreement, the county will only pick up a projected $12.7 million of the estimated $188 million project cost. Fairfax’s contribution goes toward new infrastructure needed to adaptively reuse the site. The county will split these infrastructure costs equally with the developers — but the deal caps the county’s contribution to a maximum, fixed amount.

Fairfax County acquired the former prison property for $4.2 million in July 2002. While the entire property encompasses about 2,323 acres, a portion, including the Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area Master Plan was approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2010, after a two-year master planning effort

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