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Creative Reuse of Former Reformatory Creates Unique Senior Housing Opportunity


Ideally situated near existing areas of revitalization and amply sized for the inclusion of numerous residential and communal amenities, the former D.C. Department of Corrections Reformatory in the Spring Hill subdivision of Lorton will be transformed over the next year into affordable rental housing for seniors.

The future Lindsay Hill Apartments is being developed and constructed by Community Housing Partners (CHP) with a loan of up to $590,000 from the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), in addition to funding from State and Federal Historic Tax Credit programs and the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s (VHDA) Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. These tax credits, coupled with permanent mortgage financing commitments from FCRHA and VHDA, will allow for the adaptive reuse of five historic buildings built between 1933 and 1941 within the former reformatory.

"Because of the generous funding support of our partners, CHP has a unique opportunity to create 55 new units of senior housing. By reclaiming an important part of Lorton’s history and converting it into a vibrant and sustainable housing option for low-income seniors, we will help complete the Spring Hill Subdivision’s vision while maintaining the historical and architectural heritage of the community,” said CHP Vice President of Development David Schultz.

Implementing the designs of Zavos Architecture + Design, LLC and site expertise of Christopher Consultants, Ltd., the former commissary and four dormitory buildings will be repurposed by CHP Construction into 55 apartments that will be rented to individuals aged 62 and older. The new facility will be built to Universal Design standards, with six units meeting full accessibility standards under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Two units will meet the needs of people with sensory disabilities.

Common amenities of the elevator-equipped commissary building will include on-site management, a community room, community kitchen, fitness center, coffee lounge, and library/business center.      

Additional upgrades to the buildings—which will include new roofs, HVAC and electrical systems, sprinkler systems, plumbing, fire protection, kitchens, and baths— will retain the buildings’ historic character. In addition, the redevelopment project is being designed and built to EarthCraft Virginia Multifamily certification standards.

The renovated buildings of Lindsay Hill Apartments will be integrated with the established Spring Hill Senior Campus that surrounds the development site and will provide a natural transition between Spring Hill and the nearby Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area.

Construction is expected to begin July 2015 and completion is slated for October 2016.