Redevelopment Project at Historic Lorton Prison

Nov. 18, 2015
For Immediate Release

Redevelopment Project at Historic Lorton Prison Set to Begin

Redevelopment Project at Historic Lorton Prison Set to Begin
The Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area is being redeveloped as a mixed-used community called Liberty Crest at Laurel Hill. For reference, South County High School is shown in the upper-left.

A project to redevelop the historic core of the former Lorton Reformatory, also known as the Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area, is moving forward after 14 years of planning and preparations. The 80-acre reuse area is the final piece of a land development puzzle that began in 2001 when Fairfax County purchased 2,300 acres from the D.C. Department of Corrections.

Liberty Crest at Laurel Hill, the name of the new neighborhood, will reuse former prison buildings and preserve the historic character of the site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When complete, Liberty Crest at Laurel Hill will be a vibrant, walkable community full of shopping and dining options for new residents living in apartments, townhouses, and single-family homes. This long awaited project will create another desirable place to live, work, play, learn, and thrive in Fairfax County - a tenet of the county's strategic plan for economic success.

Community Benefits of Redeveloping the Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area

  • Preservation of a nationally significant historic site
  • New shopping and dining options to support a growing community
  • Beautification of the former prison
  • Improved access to Giles Run Meadow Park
  • Integration of former prison campus into surrounding community
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Community-serving open space

Local dignitaries, land planners, historic preservationists, and real estate developers will make brief remarks during a ceremony to officially break ground on the two-phase project on Monday, December 7, 2015, at 11 a.m.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the master development agreement, or business plan, for the project on July 29, 2014. The estimated $188 million project represents a partnership between the county and two developers - The Alexander Company and Elm Street Development - with the county contributing $12.8 million toward the share of public infrastructure design and construction. The developers are responsible for the construction of the infrastructure (transportation, wastewater, stormwater, site work), and Fairfax County's Department of Public Works and Environmental Services will oversee the public infrastructure construction activities. The county will extend use of the property to the developers by way of a 99-year ground lease for the historic properties and fee-simple transfer for the areas to be developed with new construction.

The county's Department of Planning and Zoning and the Facilities Management Division have served as stewards of the property since it was transferred to the county. Approximately $4 million has been spent to stabilize buildings and maintain the site.

For more information about the project and the site's history, visit



Contact: Matthew Kaiser, Public Information Officer 
Department of Public Works and Environmental Services 
703-324-8455, TTY 711

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