MaRous and Company was retained by a financial institution that had built a modern bank with a drive-through facility on an outlot of a grocery store-anchored shopping center in a northwest suburb. After numerous years during which the developer marketed outlots, the bank facility, which was constructed on the most remote of the outlots, was the only outlot developed. The bank facility included a basement that was utilized for support services, mechanical equipment, a community room, and storage. The developer sued MaRous and Company’s client for damages in excess of $1,000,000, alleging that the addition of the basement space to the bank building diminished the developer’s ability to market the other outlots and reduced the value of the remainder property.
As part of our assignment, we analyzed the intensity of use, the amount of parking, and the uses to which the bank space was put. Based on the relatively low-intensity use of the bank, the high-quality nature of the improvements, and the fact that the bank was the most remote of the existing outlots, it was our opinion that the development of the bank actually enhanced the remaining outlots. The developer, through its experts, alleged damages based on land values that exceeded the list prices at which the lots had been marketed for more than 4 years.
Following discovery and a bench trial, the Court ruled that there were no damages as a result of the bank’s inclusion of the basement area in its facility.