Private developers and city governments may be able to work together to finance large municipal projects and thus diminish mounting strains on local government budgets, a Los Angeles developer suggested recently.

Robert F. Maguire III, of an investment building firm in Los Angeles, told a gathering of planners, architects and government officials at Princeton University that the new Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art was made possible by an arrangement with a developer. He said that the construction and part of the operating costs are being met from proceeds of a large private development on surrounding city-owned ground.

Five major investment building companies vied for this project, clear evidence that the requirement for private financing of public facilities is totally feasible in the right environment, Maguire added.

The Los Angeles developer-financier also said that housing for employes of downtown business in major cities could be created by similar arrangements. He said most city governments and developers could provide housing for middle-income persons on government-owned land near public projects.

Maguire's firm is developing the $300-million, 3-million-square-foot Crocker Center office building in downtown Los Angeles. Maguire also brought together a team of 10 architects and planners for development of the long-dormant 11-acre city-owned Bunker Hill site in downtown Los Angeles.