In 2001, the Lorton Reformatory shut down, but soon it will reopen with a new use for the community. When it opened in 1916 after being commissioned by Theodore Roosevelt, it served as a medium-security prison for convicts from Washington, D.C. Since 2004, there have been plans to redevelop the historic property into a massive mixed-use development with apartments, condos, retail, offices, and 20,000 square feet of green space. This new project, called Liberty at Laurel Hill, will cost a total of $180 million and will be developed by Wisconsin-based Alexander Company.
The first phase of the project has already begun with a delivery slated for April 2017. This phase involves the construction of a complex, called Liberty Crest, that will house 165 apartments, 83 townhomes and 24 single-family homes.
Once the second phase starts, work will begin on 74 townhomes, six condos, and 110,000 square feet of retail and commercial use. There is no reported date yet on when the entire project is expected to complete.
45 percent of the apartments that will be constructed will be designated for affordable housing. The rents will range from around $900 per month to $1,215 per month for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. In the residential units, there will be granite countertops, breakfast bars, and stainless steel appliances. All bedrooms will be carpeted, and the original concrete and tile will remain in each unit.
All but six of the 55 structures located on the prison site will remain once the construction is complete. The guard towers will also remain. When the prison was being constructed, the prisoners used bricks manufactured on site and lumber cut from trees in Lorton, Virginia to build the structures.