Planning Division

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Regular hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday. Check the DPD Operating Status webpage for more information.

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 730
Fairfax, VA 22035

Leanna O'Donnell,

Laurel Hill Workhouse Campus

Preserving the Past. Shaping the Future. Visit Historic Southern Fairfax County.

In 2002, as part of a land exchange with the federal government, Fairfax County acquired the property known today as the Workhouse Arts Center and referred to herein as the "Workhouse Campus."

Pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the federal agencies involved in the land exchange (the General Services Administration and the Bureau of Land Management) entered into a legally binding Memorandum of Agreement with Fairfax County and other interested parties to preserve the historically significant buildings and structures at the Workhouse Campus in a manner that favors adaptive reuse.

Since 2008, Fairfax County has worked with the Workhouse Arts Foundation (WAF) to renovate buildings at the Workhouse Campus to provide space for juried artists, performing arts, arts education, and a Workhouse prison museum for the benefit of the public. In 2014, WAF in cooperation with Fairfax County, initiated a new and expanded phase of the Workhouse Campus in which successful and financially viable arts programming, performances, and large public events have occurred, and the Lucy Burns Museum in Building W-2 and W-2A of the Workhouse Campus has been privately funded and renovated. This success has engaged the community and served as a catalyst for economic growth and development in the area.

Request for Expressions of Interest (RFI)

General Information

The County of Fairfax, Virginia (the “County”) and the Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc. (“WAF”) seek to explore the adaptive reuse potential of vacant and/or underutilized buildings or grounds of the over 50 acre Workhouse Arts Campus located at 9518 Workhouse Way, Fairfax, Virginia, also known as Fairfax County tax map reference 106-4-01-0058.  The County of Fairfax owns the property, which is listed in its entirety on the National Register of Historic Places. A portion of the site is currently operated as the Workhouse Arts Center pursuant to agreements between the County and WAF, LLC, a limited liability company controlled by Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc. (WAF, LLC and the Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc. are collectively and individually referred to as “WAF”).  The land and buildings constituting the Workhouse Arts Campus are referred to herein as the “Campus”.  The Campus contains numerous historic buildings formerly used to house and rehabilitate inmates.  The buildings currently in use on the site have been adaptively reused as an arts center. 

The overarching vision for the Campus is to establish a unique, widely recognized destination of choice, providing dynamic and engaging arts, cultural, educational, and community building experiences with unique economic development opportunities.

The purpose of this RFI is to gather information from the market regarding interest in partnering with Fairfax County and WAF to advance the vision by exploring a variety of potential options for establishing restaurants, a food hall, craft beverages, hospitality facilities, culinary education, arts, entertainment, small-scale production spaces, residential, recreational, an entrepreneurial enterprise center or business incubator center, and/or other uses at the Campus through the adaptive reuse of one or more existing structures, use of open space areas, or the construction of new structures that serve to complement the existing arts and cultural uses in such a way that:

  • promotes increased vibrancy to the Campus;
  • generates new revenue streams to the benefit of the Respondent and the Campus;
  • and enhances the Campus as a community and regional destination.

How to Respond to the RFI

RFI responses will be accepted, reviewed and possibly recommended for further consideration of development or implementation on a rolling basis in order of submission.

View and Download RFI

Workhouse Arts Campus Guiding Principles

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Workhouse Campus RFI Tours

Tours of the Workhouse Campus for potential RFI respondents are available upon request. 

View Workhouse Arts Campus Photo Gallery



Questions and Inquiries

Questions regarding this RFI may be submitted below. Questions must be made on behalf of a prospective respondent and must include the requestor’s name, email or mailing address, telephone number, and the name of the prospective partner.




Fairfax Virtual Assistant