Litigation Department Obtains Significant Victory in Virginia Property Dispute

April 13, 2010

Firm obtains significant trial victory in dispute over ownership of 14-acre residential and commercial property located in Pentagon City.

On April 6, a Virginia state court judge granted Willkie’s demand for specific performance and awarded Willkie clients Street Retail, Inc. (Street), a subsidiary of Federal Realty Investment Trust, and Post Apartment Homes, L.P. (Post), a subsidiary of Post Properties, Inc., the right to buy a 14-acre site, including land and improvements, in Arlington County, Virginia known as "Pentagon Row" from Vornado Realty Trust and certain of its subsidiaries (collectively, Vornado) for $14.9 million. The result followed a 5-day bench trial that took place in February of this year in which plaintiffs Street and Post proved that Vornado breached a right-of-first-offer (ROFO) provision in their ground leases. Vornado had acquired Pentagon Row in circumvention of the ROFO through a series of transactions in 2005 and 2007. Vornado had vigorously contested liability and argued, in the alternative, that the price of specific performance should be as high as $37 million.

The case, Street Retail, Inc., et al., v. Vornado Realty Trust, et al., CL08-1108, was tried before Judge Benjamin N.A. Kendrick of the Circuit Court of Arlington County. Willkie’s victory is profiled in the Am Law Litigation Daily in a feature article entitled "Willkie Bests W&C and Vornado in Dispute over ‘Pentagon’ Property Development" (4/12/2010). The case was handled by partners Richard Bernstein and James Dugan, and associates Frank Scaduto, Matthew Edwards, Emily Rap, and Todd Cosenza.