LORTON, Va. - It was a prison for nearly 100 years, but now, the old historic Lorton Reformatory is being turned into a luxury apartment community.
The prison, which was built in 1910 and opened in 1916, stopped housing prisoners in 2001.
Now, Liberty Crest Apartments, a project constructed by Elm Street Development in partnership with Fairfax County and the Alexander Company, has adapted the prison into a mix-use development.
"We're very excited to be creating a new, vibrant, mix-use community and adaptably reusing these prison buildings, these historic structures in new ways. It's for office, retail, restaurants, apartments and townhomes," explained Jack Perkins with Elm Street Development. "It takes a really creative team to have the vision to take a piece of property like this and turn it into something new and exciting, some of the historic fabric, some of the cells would be retained for historical purposes and interpreted use, but most of it would be converted."
The Lorton Reformatory was revolutionary as it looked to rehab and teach prisoners new skills. Prisoners helped build the facility and later worked on 1,700 acres of cultivated land and made goods such as manhole covers and uniforms during World War II. The Lorton Reformatory was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.
Perkins said Liberty Crest Apartments began leasing units in the summer and about two-thirds of the 165 apartments had been rented. Elm Street Development said it was planning the next phase of the project and hoped to start construction in 2018.
In the video player above, FOX 5's Gary McGrady gives us a look inside Liberty Crest Apartments.