Toll Brothers and the Loudoun Freedom Center announced plans for the Mercer Crossing mixed-use development, a 108-acre community at Route 7 and Belmont Ridge Road in Ashburn in Loudoun County, Va. The plans are contingent on rezoning and approvals from the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

The Mercer Crossing development is named for Margaret Mercer (1791-1846), an abolitionist and educator who purchased the property in 1836. She commissioned the construction of Belmont Chapel, “where African Americans were educated alongside whites,” according to the historical marker on the site, and is best known for “advocating the liberation of enslaved African Americans.”

Plans call for the development to include a wide range of residential, retail and civic buildings as well as public open space. Mercer Crossing will include townhouses, apartments and active adult dwellings. Some of the residences will be designated affordable housing for households that meet income limitations.

In 2017, Toll Brothers conveyed 2.75 acres in the area, now known as the historic African American Burial Ground for the Enslaved at Belmont, to the Loudoun Freedom Center. An additional four acres adjacent to the current site will be donated by Toll Brothers to the Loudoun Freedom Center for the build out of its facilities and expansion of education experiences for the public.

The nonprofit Loudoun Freedom Center, founded by Pastor Michelle Thomas, aims to eliminate injustice and promote understanding and reconciliation through research and historic preservation.

Additional plans for the property include a centrally located park and trails that will be open to the public, along with the preservation of trees and multiple streams that run through the community.

An infrastructure plan, anticipated to ease traffic in the area, includes the construction of Russell Branch Parkway to connect Belmont Ridge Road to Claiborne Parkway.

For more information visit and the Loudoun Freedom Center.

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