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Certain statements made today during this conference call, which are not historical, may be deemed forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For a more detailed description of the risks and uncertainties that may cause future events to differ from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, please refer to our earnings release and to our various SEC filings.Management may also discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations of each non-GAAP financial measure to the comparable GAAP measure are included in our earnings release and the financial reports we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Members of management with us today are Michael Glimcher, Chairman and CEO, Marshall Loeb, President and COO, and Mark Yale, CFO. And now, I would like to turn the call over to Michael. Michael Glimcher – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thank you, Lisa. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us on today's call. As we reflect on 2011, we are extremely proud of the progress made in the execution of our transformative strategy here at Glimcher and we are even more excited about how this positions us for 2012 and beyond. In terms of accomplishments, we are particularly pleased to now have portfolio sales in excess of $400 per square foot. In fact, sales are up over 20% from the lows of 2009. In addition to achieving this significant milestone for the company, total mall occupancy is sitting at approximately 95% as of year end and we have experienced an acceleration in store leasing up approximately 25% over 2010 while generating positive releasing spreads of 8% for the year. The improvement in real estate quality was not only driven by progress made within our existing portfolio, but also through the addition of new properties like Pearlridge acquired in the fourth quarter of 2010, and more recently, the purchase of Town Center Plaza in Leawood, Kansas during the fourth quarter of 2011. Leawood sales are well over $400 per square foot, and through the acquisition, we were able to add tenants like Anthropologie and Madewell to the Glimcher portfolio. Simply put, we are a better company owning Leawood.
We also made tangible progress towards the stabilization of the first two phases of Scottsdale Quarter during the year. Total occupied square footage increased from below 50% as of December 31, 2010 to approximately 80% as of December 31, 2011. Accordingly, the property is now positioned to be accretive to earnings in 2012 with the NOI contribution expected to more than double over the 2011 results. W also made substantial progress in firming up the vision for Phase 3 with plans to bring a fashion department store anchored to this site along with other complementary uses.Finally, in terms of the balance sheet, we were able to efficiently raise net proceeds of over $250 million from common equity issuances in 2011 bringing our corporate leverage down to around 50%. Accordingly, we finished the year with over $170 million of capacity on our credit facility giving us ample flexibility to fund our current pipeline of committed investment opportunities. With another year of solid execution behind us, our goal is to maintain this positive momentum as we head into 2010. Our strategy of focusing on quality remains the same and we are excited about what we can accomplish this year. With the $400 per square foot sales target now achieved, we have quickly turned our attention to new hurdle, a $450 per square foot in portfolio sales. We plan to pursue this not only through strategic acquisitions, but also by maximizing sales potential within our existing portfolio as we look to improve the quality of our current 95% occupancy and to execute on redevelopment initiatives throughout the portfolio. As previously discussed, we see the potential to generate high single digit returns on a roughly $60 million of investment in our current outlet segment. At Jersey Gardens, we are currently working on enhancing the existing tenant mix by adding higher end luxury outlets to the offering at the center. These efforts will be coordinated with major interior and exterior renovations. The bulk of the work will start in the early part of this year with completion expected to occur in mid 2013.
We are also making progress on solidifying the outlet component at our SuperMall, which is located in the metro Seattle area. Based upon feedback from the outlet retail community, we believe there is an opportunity to improve this asset into a fashion outlet center serving the southern half of the Seattle market. In conjunction with these leasing efforts, we will be moving forward physical enhancements to the center as well.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com