I will also remind you that some of the statements made during this call will include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal Securities law. Although Liberty believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that these expectations will be achieved. As forward-looking statements, these statements involve risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expected results, risks that were detailed in the issued press release, and from time to time the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.
Bill, would you like to begin?
Thank you, Jeanne, and good afternoon, everyone. Liberty had a very solid third quarter. We leased 4.5 million square feet which was our best quarter of the year bringing year-to-date leasing to 11.3 million square feet. This leasing was driven in part by a 66% renewal rate yielding 89.9% occupancy, up 40 basis points.We continue to execute on our strategic investment activity. Year-to-date, we’ve sold $370 million, acquired $207 million, and commenced development on a $171 million with another $117 million in development to start in the fourth quarter. Mike and Rob will provide further color on this activity in a moment. We’re now near the high end of our guidance ranges for each of the activities, sales, acquisitions, and development. And as we’ve said in the past if we see opportunities to advance our strategy we will take advantage of them. The economy continues to be challenged. The unemployment rate has been stuck above 9% now for several quarters, while GDP growth is below 2%. Added to this weakness in the last 60 days, there seems to be an increased level of uncertainty and anxiety. We don’t know why. Starting with the debt ceiling debate in August has been fed by the daily Euro Greek concerns and now is fed by the belief that nothing will change until the 2012 elections at the earliest.
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