CHICAGO — As the familiar musical sounds of the Olympic theme filled the air, Rich Horn, president of Duke Realty Corp., accepted the NAIOP "2001 Developer of the Year" award on behalf of his company here Wednesday night at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers. The presentation came during a gala dinner held on the first day of the association’s Annual Conference and Marketplace.

"This is a big deal to us. It truly means a lot," said a humble Horn. "NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties) has always been and will always be a big part of our business development. I can say with absolute certainty that in every city we operate, if there is a NAIOP chapter we’re actively involved in that chapter."

The numbers illustrate just how far Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE) has come since it was founded in 1972. The Indianapolis-based REIT began as a small industrial developer in a growing distribution market before going public in 1983. Today, Duke Realty boasts a market capitalization of $6.5 billion and is rated highly by industry analysts, largely because of the depth of its management team.

The company owns interests in a diversified portfolio of industrial, office and retail properties across the Midwest and Southeast. Specifically, Duke Realty owns or manages 117 million sq. ft. of properties and operates 13 offices. In the past three years alone, Duke Realty has developed 211 properties totaling more than 31.3 million sq. ft. In addition, Duke Realty controls or owns 4,400 acres of undeveloped land that can support more than 65 million sq. ft. of future development.

In 1999, Duke took a giant step by merging with Atlanta-based Weeks Corp., bringing together two developers that have compiled 15 consecutive quarters of double-digit FFO growth per share, the longest ongoing record in the industry.

And the company’s success has enabled it to give back to communities in which it operates. In 2000, Duke’s corporate philanthropic activities included nearly $500,000 in cash contributions to community-based organizations. In 1999, the company volunteered to provide construction management services valued at $1 million for the renovation and restoration project for the Children’s Guardian Home in Indianapolis. The facility provides protection and counseling to children who are victims of abuse or neglect. The company has also donated funds for a new playground in Atlanta.

The "Developer of the Year" award, introduced in 1979, is presented annually in recognition of a company’s outstanding achievements and contribution to its community. Candidates for the award are nominated by NAIOP’s 46 chapters in North America and are judged on the following criteria:

• quality of products and services;

• financial consistency and stability;

• social consciousness;

• the ability to adapt to market conditions;

• reputation in the real estate and general business communities, and active involvement in NAIOP.

"The developer of the year award is NAIOP’s most prestigious honor," said Thomas Bisacquino, president of NAIOP. "The award is given to a commercial real estate developer for leadership in the industry, active support of the industry through NAIOP and active support of the local community — all of which Duke Realty Corp. exemplifies."

With its membership in nine local chapters, Duke Realty’s support of NAIOP is felt across the country. The company was the recipient of local awards in seven of those chapters.

Duke Realty’s stock price closed at $22.44 on Wednesday, down $3.73 from its 52-week high of $26.17.