Thank you, Lisa, and good morning. As I stated at Investor Day, Regency’s executive team is committed to regain our standing as a blue chip shopping center company by achieving four critical objectives, which I shared with you then, and I want to very briefly review with you now.
First, generating dependable NOI growth of 3%. Second, reinvigorating a disciplined development program that will add significant value to the portfolio. Third, further strengthening the balance sheet and assuring access to capital, and fourth, compounding recurring funds from operations and NAV per share by 5%.
As I reflect back on 2011, I am gratified by the progress the team has made in positioning 2012 to be a turnaround year for Regency. I’d like to now highlight those key accomplishments that will be important building blocks for both 2012 and the sustainable achievement of these four objectives in subsequent years.
We leased nearly 7 million square feet of space, including 2 million square feet of new leases, and that strong tenant demand is continuing. We increased occupancy in the operating portfolio to 93.5% and this represents the highest level in three years.
We sold on a pro rata basis more than $90 million of operating properties and recycled the capital into $110 million of dominant grocery-anchored shopping centers with much better prospects for future growth in NOI. We started over $95 million of new development and nearly $25 million of redevelopments or expansions at attractive returns of more than 9%.
In addition, we sold or converted to development almost $30 million of land held and we took further steps to improve the balance sheet. Among these was renewing our $600 million line of credit, closing on a $250 million term loan, and refinancing more than $500 million of mortgages in our co-investment partnerships.