The residents at Laurel Hill will have a local grocery store in about a year or so, now that plans for a 30,000-square-foot Lidl store have been approved as an anchor for the Liberty Market shopping center in Lorton.
The location in Lorton is on land that was once part of the Lorton Reformatory, and the plans were approved by the Virginia Department of
Historic Resources, National Park Service, and the Fairfax County’s Architectural Review Board, Elm Street Development said. Elm Street Development will also build a new multi-tenant retail building to complete the shopping center. These two new buildings, plus the seven existing historic structures at the site with watchtowers, will make up Liberty Market. “We are combining the best new construction with the creative reuse of existing buildings. We hope to bring a unique collage of small shops in a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere with fun dining options to create a vibrant community hub for all Lorton residents to enjoy,” said the Elm Street representative.
NVRetail is also leasing nearly 50,000 square feet of repurposed historical retail/flex space at the center. Those historic buildings feature vast ceiling heights, oversized windows, and historic brick architecture that opens onto an expansive green grass quad, their literature said. In the grocery-anchored portion (front portion) of the center, the developer is actively seeking a large footprint brewery, sit-down and quick-service restaurants, fitness users, service providers, and other neighborhood retail uses.
Liberty Market is located in the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County, and district Supervisor Dan Storck has supported the development of the former prison land calling the addition of Lidl to Liberty Market a "win" for the surrounding community. "With many homes within walkable distance to Liberty Market and the recent closure of Shoppers at Lorton Marketplace, Lidl will provide additional options to the South County community, as well as an anchor tenant for the growing Liberty commercial area," he said.
The center is going in right off Silverbrook Road, which is a busy thoroughfare for Laurel Hill. Once the shopping center opens, a new traffic light will be installed at the intersection of Silverbrook Road and White Spruce Way.
The Big Picture
Laurel Hill is now home to the Workhouse Arts Center, the Laurel Hill Golf Club, the Lucy Burns suffragist museum, and several developments of apartments, townhouses, condominiums and single-family houses, as it emerges as a destination for many. Officials have discussed bringing in a grocer in the past but were unable to move forward until now. Some of the condominiums are actually in former prison buildings as is the Lucy Burns suffragist museum. The “Fairfax Peak,” indoor ski slope at the former Lorton Landfill is in the works. It will be connected to Occoquan Regional Park by a gravity-powered, mountain coaster that will slide from the summit to the park, and a gondola to ferry riders from Occoquan Regional Park and the facility’s base to the summit where Fairfax Peak sky terrace, will be built, one plan states
Barry Biggart, the CEO of Visit Fairfax, looks at the big picture as a “historic triangle,” with Mount Vernon, the Army museum at Fort Belvoir and Laurel Hill as the main historic venues, linked by bike trails, parkways and the Occoquan River. “The south county area is really on the verge of being a destination itself,” he said.