Essex Property Trust, Inc. ("Essex"), a Maryland corporation, is an S&P 500 company that operates as a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust ("REIT"). Essex owns all of its interest in its real estate and other investments directly or indirectly through Essex Portfolio, L.P. (the "Operating Partnership" or "EPLP"). Essex is the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership and as of December 31, 2018, had an approximately 96.6% general partnership interest in the Operating Partnership. In this report, the terms the "Company," "we," "us," and "our" also refer to Essex Property Trust, Inc., the Operating Partnership and those entities/subsidiaries owned or controlled by Essex and/or the Operating Partnership.
Essex has elected to be treated as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, commencing with the year ended December 31, 1994. Essex completed its initial public offering on June 13, 1994. In order to maintain compliance with REIT tax rules, the Company utilizes taxable REIT subsidiaries for various revenue generating or investment activities. All taxable REIT subsidiaries are consolidated by the Company for financial reporting purposes.
The Company is engaged primarily in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of predominantly apartment communities, located along the West Coast of the United States. As of December 31, 2018, the Company owned or had ownership interests in 245 operating apartment communities, aggregating 59,661 apartment homes, excluding the Company's ownership in preferred equity co-investments, loan investments, one operating commercial building with approximately 106,716 square feet and six active development projects with 1,861 apartment homes in various stages of development (collectively, the "Portfolio").