Final Piece of the Puzzle From Lorton Prison to Laurel Hill

Rendering of Liberty Crest at Laurel Hill

A project to redevelop the historic core of the former Lorton prison, 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 2,300-acre land development puzzle that began in 2001.

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.

aerial view of development

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.

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 our strategic plan for economic success.

Phase one plans call for a total of 272 condos/townhomes/single family homes:

phase one map of liberty crest at laurel hill

The estimated $188 million project represents a partnership between us and two developers — The Alexander Company and Elm Street Development — with our contribution capped at $12.8 million toward the share of public infrastructure design and construction.


Benefits of Redevelopment

  • Preservation of a nationally significant historic site
  • New living, shopping, dining, and office space options
  • 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


Groundbreaking Held Dec. 7 

A groundbreaking ceremony for Liberty Crest at Laurel Hill was held Dec. 7 with community members, local officials, land planners, historic preservationists and real estate developers.


The History 

For the better part of a century, the grounds of Lorton prison, one of the most beautiful parcels of land in Fairfax County, were restricted and hidden from public view.

There’s a rich history of the site dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt and his vision for reforming inmates.


When Fairfax County purchased the 2,300-acre site in 2001 from the D.C. Department of Corrections, there were two areas identified as “adaptive reuse areas” — this project and the current Workhouse Arts Center.

Learn more about the history of the prison through this short video below and through the years of meetings and documents to redevelop the land:



 The Complete Puzzle 

With Liberty Crest moving forward, most of the land use puzzle pieces are in place to transform the area from the old Lorton prison to what we now call Laurel Hill. New schools, parkland, the Workhouse Arts Center and an award-winning golf course preceded the Liberty Crest project.

  • Workhouse Arts Center – 2004
  • South County Secondary School – September 2005
  • Laurel Hill Golf Club – October 2005
  • Cross-County Trail – May 2006
  • Laurel Hill Park – Giles Run Meadow – October 2007
  • Laurel Hill Elementary School – September 2009
  • Laurel Hill Multiuse Trails – September 2009
  • South County Middle School – September 2012
  • Equestrian Riding Ring – April 2014
  • Spring Hill Senior Living Community (private) – 2006-2014
  • Liberty Crest at Laurel Hill Groundbreaking – December 2015


map of Laurel Hill plans


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