Lee Danielson is a developer linked to creation of many properties in Charlottesville. He has connections with the Landmark Hotel and the creation of the movie theater on the mall. At one point, the firm D&R Development sought to redevelop four buildings in the 100 block of East Main Street, but the project fell apart. 
Danielson is chair of the Danielson group and has taken credit for transforming a "former cattle town into a street of elegance, excitement and distinction." 
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Danielson moved to the area in 1992 with his family. The intention was to take his wealth and create an entertainment district on the mall. 
After moving to the area, Danielson unveiled an ambitious scheme to renovate the mall that was known as Charlottesville 2000. This manifested in the opening of the Charlottesville Ice Park in 1995 and the Regal Cinema the following year. During the planning stages, Danielson told the Charlottesville Planning Commission to stay out of his way and also demanded the resignation of Satyendra Huja.
In the 2000 City Council election, Danielson donated money to two Republican candidates and one Democratic candidate in order to seek a more favorable regulatory climate. He donated $20,000 to under the Opportunity for All political action committee to Republicans Jon Bright and Elizabeth Fortune as well as Democrat Meredith Richards.