Fairfax County is kicking off the second phase of the Lorton prison redevelopment by seeking input from developers who could transform 50 acres home to the Workhouse Arts Center into a destination for everything from new commercial buildings and apartments to makerspaces, restaurants, small businesses and food halls.

In December, Fairfax issued a request for expressions of interest to developers, joint ventures and nonprofits to lease space or land on the minimum-security portion of the historic Lorton Reformatory campus to “supply a product, service or experience” that would activate the campus, which is located at 9518 Workhouse Way and fronts state Route 123.

The long-term goal is to create new revenue streams from an underutilized piece of land and enhance the Workhouse Arts Center, which opened in 2008 in several historic former prison buildings, into more of a cultural resource and tourist attraction in Fairfax.

It would add to the already redeveloped 80-acre portion of the former maximum security portion of the prison property, less than two miles away. Fairfax County entered into a public private partnership in 2015 with the The Alexander Co. and Elm Street Development to redevelop the historic site into the Liberty Crest with apartments, townhouses, single-family homes and more than 110,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and offices.

Click here to continue reading »


This article was originally published in the Washington Business Journal by Katie Arcieri.