Thank you, Sean. Supported by this backdrop of improving operating fundamentals, we believe that we are well positioned to generate outsized growth as the economy recharges.
As we look to the composition of our existing portfolio, each of the subsegments highlighted on Slide 15 have been impacted in varying degrees during the pandemic, and each have their distinct growth opportunities as we look forward.
Our largest segment at 40% of revenue is in what we've called out as other suburban to differentiate it from more densely populated job center suburban markets. This 40% of our portfolio was the least impacted by the pandemic, and our current asking -- our current average asking rent is 6% above the pre-pandemic peak rent we achieved in March of last year.
We continue to push asking rents in these submarkets, and concessions have largely been eliminated.
Our next largest segment at 28% of the portfolio represents communities and job center suburban markets, including our transit-oriented development. This is like Redmond, Washington; Tysons Corner in Virginia; and Assembly Row in Massachusetts. Operating fundamentals in many of these suburban locations have been more significantly impacted with asking rents still 3% to 4% below pre-pandemic levels and with the continued use of concessions in certain markets.
Our expectation is that as people increasingly return to the office and nearby restaurants and as other amenities start to reopen more fully, we will increasingly see prospects that seek out these environments for walkability, ease of transportation and the array of services provided.
For our communities and urban environments, we have a mix of core urban, effectively central business districts, and secondary urban, locations like Jersey City, New Jersey; and the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor in Northern Virginia, which make up 19% and 13% of our portfolio, respectively.
As Sean noted, occupancy in our urban portfolio has climbed more than 500 basis points, and rents are trending upward in pretty much all of the urban environments. And this has occurred with urban office usage still at very low levels of less than 20%.
As a return to offices starts to gain real momentum this summer and leading up to Labor Day, we do expect a significant rebound in our urban portfolio as in prior cycles. This is a theme that we expect to be true across much of our portfolio. And as shown on Chart 1 of Slide 16, Class A communities, which represent approximately 70% of our portfolio, have historically outperformed early in cycles.
We expect similar trends in this recovery, particularly as the traditional higher-income AVB resident is poised to benefit financially as the economy heats up. And while our residents stand to benefit from the recovery, it is also becoming more challenging for those interested in buying a home to afford one, given the acceleration in home prices in many of our coastal markets. Chart 2 on Slide 16 shows this long-term affordability trend and the growing attractiveness of renting versus owning a home in our markets.
Turning to Slide 17. The development we currently have under way is also poised to deliver strong future earnings growth as these projects are completed and stabilized. In total, we have $2.3 billion of development that has not yet been stabilized and is projected to generate $134 million of NOI at a 5.7% yield. In total, the development communities only contributed $22 million in annualized NOI as of Q1 of this year, so there's another $112 million in annualized NOI still to come. These developments are primarily in our suburban markets, where we expect to see strong fundamentals as these communities open over the next couple of years. And has been our standard practice, this development activity is substantially match-funded, reducing the capital cost risk associated with the earnings and NAV accretion yet to come.
As we anticipate a recharging economy, we are adjusting our capital allocation strategy to ramp up new development starts.
As Tim noted, we expect to break ground on as many as 6 new development projects in the second quarter, representing $650 million in new accretive investment, primarily in our suburban submarkets. With total development rights pipeline of $3.1 billion, we anticipate further increases to our development starts in future quarters and are increasing our guidance for total 2021 starts from the $750 million we had indicated on our February call to $1 billion to $1.250 billion as we have the ability to move quickly to capitalize on the improved outlook for fundamentals in our markets.
As we look forward, we expect the breadth of our development experience, particularly in the suburbs, from denser wrap developments to garden communities, to townhome and direct entry homes, will allow us to shift capital and adjust our product offering to meet the evolving needs of our targeted customer segments. Switching gears to innovation in our operating business and turning to Slide 18. The team here is now about 3 years into a significant shift in our operating platform, having generated $10 million in annual incremental NOI from our initial initiatives and with the expectation of another $25 million to $35 million of annual NOI from our near-term operating road map. One meaningful example of an initiative already deployed is our early adoption of an artificial intelligence for the management of prospective residents.
Our AI leasing agent, Sidney, is available 24/7, 365 days a year and interacts with prospects regarding their questions about our communities, schedules and reschedules tours, follows up post-tour and facilitates the application process. Sidney has sent more than 4 million messages to prospects that would have been handled by an on-site or call center associate in the past. And in addition, Sidney has scheduled almost 100,000 tours at our communities.
We continue to invest in our operating platform and are focused on the use of digital platforms and data science to drive operational efficiencies and optimize revenue from our assets. Through initiatives such as the search, application and lease process on our revamped website that we are already launching later this year; the increased rollout of smart access to allow for more automated and self-serve activities, including full self-touring and public access for revenue opportunities; use of data science to optimize our renewal results; and next steps in mobile maintenance to improve efficiency and service. Collectively, we believe we'll enhance operating margins by about 200 basis points through these various initiatives while also providing a more seamless, personalized experience at our communities.
Finally, as we look forward, we're excited to further advance AvalonBay's position as a recognized ESG leader among all REITs and within the multifamily sector as highlighted on Slide 19.
In addition to setting science-based targets to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by approximately 50% by 2030, we're also one of the first real estate companies to complete an extensive climate resiliency analysis across our portfolio, evaluating each asset across 11 key risk factors. From this analysis, the team is developing asset-specific action plans, and we have also now incorporated the resiliency framework into our go-forward investment and development decisions. We've also established measurable inclusion and diversity goals, focused on achieving gender parity for leadership by 2025 and increasing minority representation and leadership to 20% by 2025 and 25% by 2030. And we are now incorporating these goals into our business unit planning to drive results. More to come later this year as we release our fulsome and industry-leading corporate responsibility report in June and as we continue to reinforce ESG as a differentiator in the eyes of our residents, communities and stakeholders. We're very excited for where we're headed and the growth in front of us. And with that, I'll turn it back over to Tim.