Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administrative offices are not open to the public at this time. Please call or email 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 448 Fairfax, VA 22035

Randy Bartlett,

Judicial Complex Master Plan (formerly Massey Complex)

Satellite view of Massey Building Project location
The Massey Building demolition and site restoration is anticipated to be complete in Spring 2020. A new master plan will be developed to provide a coordinated long-term plan to meet the needs of the complex’s multiple stakeholders.

Meet the Consulting Team

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP (SOM) Washington DC branch office was awarded the contract for this project on June 14, 2018.

SOM’s team began work on June 28, 2018 at a project kick-off meeting.

Consulting Team firms include: SOM  - Architecture and Planning, Urban Engineering - Entitlements + Civil Engineering, HR&A - Market Analysis, Gorove Slade -Transportation, WSSI - Historic Preservation

Project Description

The Massey Building demolition and site restoration is anticipated to be complete in Fall 2020. A new master planning effort will include assessment of priority county uses for the site, including future criminal justice, public safety and human services’ needs, as well as coordination with the City of Fairfax and George Mason University.

The last comprehensive master plan for the site was developed in 2002 as part of the Courthouse Expansion and Renovation project. It was amended in 2008 to include the Less Secure Shelter II. The new master plan will provide the county with a road map for future growth on the site in a logical and systematical development. The goal of the master plan is to take into account current development needs while keeping in mind and planning for future developments.

Major areas of consideration will include the Massey Building, the Old Courthouse, and existing surface parking lots. The disposition of other county-owned real estate assets within the City of Fairfax at and near the Massey location may also be evaluated for opportunities, and the potential for public private partnerships redevelopment will be assessed.

Project Background

The Massey Complex, also known as the county’s public safety campus, is a 47.8 acre part of Fairfax County surrounded by the City of Fairfax. See project map location below. In 1969 Fairfax County opened the Massey Building, a 13-story building, as the main seat of the Fairfax County Government. Extraordinary population growth through the 1970s and ‘80s dictated a new building for the seat of government and the main county offices moved to the Government Center campus, approximately four miles to the west, in 1992. The Massey Building then became headquarters to the Police and Fire & Rescue Departments. In 2017 both of these departments moved from the Massey to a new Public Safety Headquarters building on the Government Center campus. The Massey building, at nearly the 50-year mark, it reached the end of its usefulness as a structure. The building contained many asbestos laden building products, which were the norm in the 1960s, along with very small floor plates, antiquated building systems, spalling precast concrete, and a window system that was expensive to replace. During the plan amendment for the Fairfax County Courthouse, the Massey Building was planned for future demolition once a new headquarters for Police and Fire & Rescue was developed.

The Massey Building demolition began in early 2019 with hazardous material removal. Actual demolition of the Massey Building was completed in January 2020. The site restoration is in progress and is anticipated to be complete by Summer 2020.

Project Location

Massey Building Project Location Map

The property is located on the southwest corner of Chain Bridge Road and Main Street. It is a 47.8-acre piece of Fairfax County that is surrounded by the City of Fairfax and is assigned to the Providence District Supervisor’s Office. It is home to the Historic Fairfax Courthouse and Jail, the Historic Legato School, Fairfax County Courthouse, the Adult and Juvenile Detention Centers, as well as a number of non-profit and volunteer organizations.

Why is the Massey Complex an autonomous piece of Fairfax County surrounded by the City of Fairfax?
This anomaly dates back to 1799 when Richard Ratcliffe sold four acres to Fairfax County for the new location of the Fairfax County Courthouse. Mr. Ratcliffe owned all the land surrounding the four-acre parcel. He then proceeded to build a tavern where the Bank of America now sits. In 1800 he sold an additional six acres to the county to accommodate a jail, stocks, stable, and other associated buildings. It was then that he began to lay out the Town of Providence around the courthouse. The Town of Providence was approved by the Virginia General Assembly in 1805. This name was officially changed in 1874 to the Town of Fairfax and in 1961 became an independent city leaving a now 47.8-acre parcel of Fairfax County in the center of the city.


The Massey Complex Master Plan project kick off meeting was held June 28, 2018. The master plan project is anticipated to be complete by Fall 2020.

What to Expect

Massey Building Interactive Design Workshop

It is anticipated that a number of interactive design workshops will be held with the surrounding community and the stakeholders. Check back for a schedule of these workshops.

A master plan is a detailed, long-range plan that balances and harmonizes all elements for the best utilization of the site. It looks at the existing site configuration, the next phase of growth, and the future growth for the site in a logical plan that maximizes the sites potential. It is a conceptual plan that guides the property owner with a vision and long-range goals and objectives for site development.

Stakeholder Work Session 1 - October 4, 2018

Massey Project - Stakeholder Session 1 - October 4, 2018

The first stakeholder workshop of a number of work sessions was held on October 4, 2018 with stakeholders who work on the Massey Complex. The work session was attended by over 60 stakeholders who participated in several interactive exercises. The interactive exercises were geared to explore the four priorities that form the mission statement for the Massey Complex Master Plan and to generate design ideas on how the master plan could respond to the priority statements.

  • Create a welcoming and accessible complex, designed to efficiently facilitate access and interaction with county-wide judicial and public safety functions that is compatible with the surrounding community and its context.
  • Sustain a judicial complex that is safe and secure for visitors and employees.
  • Respect the integrity of on-site historic resources and enhance the public’s experience of these assets.
  • Identify opportunities for public private partnerships to create complementary secondary uses through strategic planning and site design.

Additional work sessions will be scheduled for next year with three of them open to the public and community at large.


Stakeholder Session 2 - January 31, 2019

The second stakeholder workshop was held on January 31, 2019 with stakeholders who work on the Massey Complex. The work shop was attended by 70 stakeholders who participated in exercises to begin to define the master plan concepts including where to locate the Police Evidence Storage Facility, how to expand the Courthouse to meet future growth needs of the Courts, how to best utilize and create a sense of place for the Old Courthouse and the Historic Jail, how to begin to block and organize the site for future growth needs, pedestrian and vehicle access patterns, and what would a Public Private Partnership look like on the site.

Stakeholder Work Session 3 - May 2, 2019

Massey Project - Stakeholder Session 3 - May 2, 2019

The third stakeholder workshop was held on May 2, 2019 with stakeholders who work at the Massey Complex. Participants got their first chance to review three different master plan concepts.

Massey Complex Master Plan Community Work Sessions

Community Work Session 1 - February 28, 2019

Massey Complex Master Plan Community Work Session #1 - February 28, 2019

Massey Complex Master Plan Community Work Session #2 - June 6, 2019

Judicial (Massey) Complex Master Plan Community Work Session #3 - May 28, 2020

Project Funding

This project is listed in the FY 2020 - FY 2024 Adopted Capital Improvement Program (CIP) on page number 169.

  • Massey Complex Master Planning (Providence District): $850,000 supports a Massey Complex Master Planning effort to evaluate potential land use alternatives for the future of the entire Massey Complex.

Presentations to the Community

The presentation was given to the Fairfax County Architectural Review Board on January 10, 2019.

Past Presentations


For questions about the project or to receive project updates by email, please contact Project Coordinator Ellen vanHully-Bronson at 703-324-2331 or Kim Callahan at 703-324-9451.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant