• Land deal leaves city of Leesburg on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars


    LEESBURG, Fla. - The city of Leesburg is set to pay big for what some call a bad land deal.

    In 2009, the city bought and demolished the 59-unit Kristen Court Apartment complex -- an area known for crime.

    The plan was to build new townhomes and give tenants a fresh start, but three years later the lot still sits vacant.

    When the economy tanked there was no money for the townhome project, but taxpayers are still making payments on the lot.

    The city had been making payments on the interest, but next year they'll have to start paying part of the principal.

    The payment will jump from $153,000 to $978,000.

    While no construction has happened on the land, police said crime in the neighborhood where Kristen Court once stood has dropped drastically.

    "It's nice. It’s quiet," said Rosetta Seward.

    The city will make payments on the property through 2017 unless somebody buys the land.

    "We haven't had any inquiries. It's a piece of property that we own, that we'd be happy to not own," said Leesburg City Commissioner David Knowles.

    The city will use surplus funds from the city's gas utility to make the payment on the property.

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