Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2014
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies
Commitments and Contingencies
In the normal course of business, we are involved in legal actions arising from our ownership and administration of properties.  We establish reserves for specific legal proceedings when we determine that the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome is probable and the amount of loss can be reasonably estimated.  Management does not anticipate that any liabilities that may result from such proceedings will have a materially adverse effect on our financial position, operations or liquidity.  Our assessment of the potential outcomes of these matters involves significant judgment and is subject to change based on future developments.
We are subject to various Federal, state and local environmental regulations related to our property ownership and operation.  We have performed environmental assessments of our properties, the results of which have not revealed any environmental liability that we believe would have a materially adverse effect on our financial position, operations or liquidity.
Joint Ventures
In connection with our 2005 contribution of properties to an unconsolidated partnership in which we hold a joint venture interest, we entered into standard nonrecourse loan guarantees (environmental indemnifications and guarantees against fraud and misrepresentation, and springing guarantees of partnership debt in the event of a voluntary bankruptcy of the partnership).  On December 6, 2013, the holder of mortgage debt encumbering all of the joint venture’s properties foreclosed on the properties. As a result, title to the properties was transferred to the mortgage lender and the joint venture was relieved of the debt obligation plus accrued interest and penalties. The joint venture still had $5.6 million in nonrecourse mezzanine debt as of September 30, 2014; however, the joint venture no longer holds any property and has ceased all business operations. Management estimates there to be no fair value to the guarantees as of September 30, 2014 because the actions that would trigger performance are all within our control.
Tax Incremental Financing Obligation
In August 2010, Anne Arundel County, Maryland issued $30 million in tax incremental financing bonds to third-party investors in order to finance public improvements needed in connection with our project known as National Business Park North.  The real estate taxes on increases in assessed value of a development district encompassing National Business Park North are to be transferred to a special fund pledged to the repayment of the bonds.  We recognized a $1.1 million liability through September 30, 2014 representing our estimated obligation to fund through a special tax any future shortfalls between debt service on the bonds and real estate taxes available to repay the bonds.
Environmental Indemnity Agreement
We agreed to provide certain environmental indemnifications in connection with a lease and subsequent sale of three New Jersey properties. The prior owner of the properties, a Fortune 100 company that is responsible for groundwater contamination at such properties, previously agreed to indemnify us for (1) direct losses incurred in connection with the contamination and (2) its failure to perform remediation activities required by the State of New Jersey, up to the point that the state declares the remediation to be complete.  Under the environmental indemnification agreement, we agreed to the following:
to indemnify the tenant against losses covered under the prior owner’s indemnity agreement if the prior owner fails to indemnify the tenant for such losses.  This indemnification is capped at $5.0 million in perpetuity after the State of New Jersey declares the remediation to be complete;
to indemnify the tenant for consequential damages (e.g., business interruption) at one of the buildings in perpetuity and another of the buildings through 2025.  This indemnification is limited to $12.5 million; and
to pay 50% of additional costs related to construction and environmental regulatory activities incurred by the tenant as a result of the indemnified environmental condition of the properties.  This indemnification is limited to $300,000 annually and $1.5 million in the aggregate.