CNA Takes Legal Action Against Duke Realty

Mar 09, 2011, 10:49 ET from CNA

Suit seeks $30 million in damages from Duke for breach of obligation as landlord of its Mark Center property

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CNA today announced that it has filed suit against Duke Realty Corp., the owner and developer of Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia, seeking $30 million for the damages caused by Duke's violations of its lease obligations and its legal duties to CNA.  The suit has been filed in the Circuit Court Alexandria, Virginia.  

CNA's claim stems from Duke's sale of vacant Mark Center property to the U.S. government, and the company's subsequent development, for the Department of Defense (DoD), of two high-rise office buildings (representing 1.7 million square feet of office space), two above-ground parking garages (for 4,500 vehicles) and a remote inspection facility (to search for explosives and other harmful materials that could be brought to the site by terrorists).  The DoD has declared the site to be part of its Fort Belvoir base – located nine miles to the south of Mark Center.

"These facilities will have a serious negative impact on CNA," said CNA President and chief executive officer, Robert J. Murray.  "We never intended to be part of Fort Belvoir. Access to our building has already been affected and will get dramatically worse when the new BRAC facilities open.  Alexandria's fire and EMS officials are anticipating long delays in responding to emergencies in and around Mark Center due to increased traffic congestion – putting CNA's employees and area residents at increased risk.  And CNA now has the unfortunate distinction of having a bomb inspection facility located immediately adjacent to our building.  The Mark Center of today is no longer the setting CNA was promised when we signed a lease on our building ten years ago.

"CNA has worked to avoid this lawsuit and we do not seek to delay or disrupt the BRAC-133 project," Murray concluded. "But Duke has chosen the profit to be gained from this project over its legal obligations to CNA and without regard for the project's implications for CNA employees and the community at large."

CNA is a not-for-profit company which serves the public interest by providing in-depth analysis and results-oriented solutions to help government.