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LEESBURG, FL-It isn’t every morning that city officials go out of their way to save a developer money. But that’s what happened in Leesburg (Pop. 15,596), 45 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando.

The city and Lou Frey III, president of LCA Development of Orlando, compromised on the developer’s request to reduce parking spaces to 400 from 458. The action shaved $147,000 off the estimated $15 million development cost of the 200-unit affordable housing project near one of the city’s busiest intersections at U.S. 441 and Mills street.

Frey realized another $67,000 savings in city fees by agreeing to install gas pipes for the building’s gas appliances. Frey still has to find final funding for the project which is applying for federal tax credits through the Florida Housing Finance Corp.

The city supports the affordable housing project but neighbors living in nearby residences valued in the $300,000 range fear the apartments will lower their property values and increase already tense traffic situations near the proposed development site.

LCA Development has previously constructed similar projects in Clermont, FL, south Lake County without opposition from residents. Frey is the son Lou Frey, an Orlando lawyer and former Republican congressman.

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