Essex Property Trust, Inc. operates as a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust in the United States. It engages in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development, and redevelopment of apartment communities, as well as commercial properties. As of March 31, 2012, the company owned or had interests in 158 apartment communities; and 5 commercial buildings, as well as 5 development projects. Its communities are located in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties in southern California; and the San Francisco Bay area in northern California, as well as in the Seattle metropolitan area. The company has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust. As a result, it would not be subject to corporate income tax on that portion of its net income that is distributed to shareholders. Essex Property Trust, Inc. was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.