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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K
 
(MARK ONE)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from ___________ to _____________

001-13106 (Essex Property Trust, Inc.)
333-44467-01 (Essex Portfolio, L.P.)
(Commission File Number)

ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST, INC.
ESSEX PORTFOLIO, L.P.

(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
Maryland77-0369576
 (Essex Property Trust, Inc.)(Essex Property Trust, Inc.)
California77-0369575
(Essex Portfolio, L.P.)(Essex Portfolio, L.P.)
(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)

1100 Park Place, Suite 200
San Mateo, California 94403
(Address of Principal Executive Offices including Zip Code)
(650) 655-7800
(Registrant's Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading
Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $.0001 par value (Essex Property Trust, Inc.)ESSNew York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Essex Property Trust, Inc.YesNoEssex Portfolio, L.P.YesNo
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Essex Property Trust, Inc.YesNoEssex Portfolio, L.P.YesNo

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Essex Property Trust, Inc.YesNoEssex Portfolio, L.P.YesNo

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Essex Property Trust, Inc.YesNoEssex Portfolio, L.P.YesNo

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company.  See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. 

Essex Property Trust, Inc.:
Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company

Essex Portfolio, L.P.:
Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Essex Property Trust, Inc.Essex Portfolio, L.P.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Essex Property Trust, Inc.Essex Portfolio, L.P.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant's executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐


Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
Essex Property Trust, Inc.YesNoEssex Portfolio, L.P.YesNo

As of June 30, 2023, the aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of Essex Property Trust, Inc. was $14,926,731,683. The aggregate market value was computed with reference to the closing price on the New York Stock Exchange on the last trading day preceding such date. Shares of common stock held by executive officers, directors and holders of more than ten percent of the outstanding common stock have been excluded from this calculation because such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This exclusion does not reflect a determination that such persons are affiliates for any other purposes. There is no public trading market for the common units of Essex Portfolio, L.P. As a result, the aggregate market value of the common units held by non-affiliates of Essex Portfolio, L.P. cannot be determined.

As of February 21, 2024, 64,203,497 shares of common stock ($.0001 par value) of Essex Property Trust, Inc. were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:
Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") pursuant to Regulation 14A in connection with the 2024 annual meeting of stockholders of Essex Property Trust, Inc. are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Such Proxy Statement will be filed with the SEC within 120 days of December 31, 2023.

Auditor Name: KPMG LLP            Location: San Francisco, California         PCAOB ID: 185




EXPLANATORY NOTE

This report combines the annual reports on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 of Essex Property Trust, Inc., a Maryland corporation, and Essex Portfolio, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership of which Essex Property Trust, Inc. is the sole general partner.

Unless stated otherwise or the context otherwise requires, references to the "Company," "we," "us," or "our" mean collectively Essex Property Trust, Inc. and those entities/subsidiaries owned or controlled by Essex Property Trust, Inc., including Essex Portfolio, L.P., and references to the "Operating Partnership," or "EPLP" mean Essex Portfolio, L.P. and those entities/subsidiaries owned or controlled by Essex Portfolio, L.P. Unless stated otherwise or the context otherwise requires, references to "Essex" mean Essex Property Trust, Inc., not including any of its subsidiaries.

Essex operates as a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust ("REIT"), and is the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership. As of December 31, 2023, Essex owned approximately 96.6% of the ownership interest in the Operating Partnership with the remaining 3.4% interest owned by limited partners. As the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership, Essex has exclusive control of the Operating Partnership's day-to-day management.

The Company is structured as an umbrella partnership REIT ("UPREIT") and Essex contributes all net proceeds from its various equity offerings to the Operating Partnership. In return for those contributions, Essex receives a number of Operating Partnership limited partnership units ("OP Units," and the holders of such OP Units, "Unitholders") equal to the number of shares of common stock it has issued in the equity offerings. Contributions of properties to the Company can be structured as tax-deferred transactions through the issuance of OP Units, which is one of the reasons why the Company is structured in the manner outlined above. Based on the terms of the Operating Partnership's partnership agreement, OP Units can be exchanged into Essex common stock on a one-for-one basis. The Company maintains a one-for-one relationship between the OP Units issued to Essex and shares of common stock.

The Company believes that combining the reports on Form 10-K of Essex and the Operating Partnership into this single report provides the following benefits:

enhances investors' understanding of Essex and the Operating Partnership by enabling investors to view the business as a whole in the same manner as management views and operates the business;
eliminates duplicative disclosure and provides a more streamlined and readable presentation since a substantial portion of the disclosure applies to both Essex and the Operating Partnership; and
creates time and cost efficiencies through the preparation of one combined report instead of two separate reports.

Management operates Essex and the Operating Partnership as one business. The management of Essex consists of the same members as the management of the Operating Partnership.

All of the Company's property ownership, development, and related business operations are conducted through the Operating Partnership and Essex has no material assets, other than its investment in the Operating Partnership. Essex's primary function is acting as the general partner of the Operating Partnership. As general partner with control of the Operating Partnership, Essex consolidates the Operating Partnership for financial reporting purposes. Therefore, the assets and liabilities of Essex and the Operating Partnership are the same on their respective financial statements. Essex also issues equity from time to time and guarantees certain debt of the Operating Partnership, as disclosed in this report. The Operating Partnership holds substantially all of the assets of the Company, including the Company's ownership interests in its co-investments. The Operating Partnership conducts the operations of the business and is structured as a partnership with no publicly traded equity. Except for the net proceeds from equity offerings by the Company, which are contributed to the capital of the Operating Partnership in exchange for OP Units (on a one-for-one share of common stock per OP Unit basis), the Operating Partnership generates all remaining capital required by the Company's business. These sources of capital include the Operating Partnership's working capital, net cash provided by operating activities, borrowings under its revolving credit facilities, the issuance of secured and unsecured debt and equity securities and proceeds received from disposition of certain properties and co-investments.

The Company believes it is important to understand the few differences between Essex and the Operating Partnership in the context of how Essex and the Operating Partnership operate as a consolidated company. Stockholders' equity, partners' capital and noncontrolling interest are the main areas of difference between the consolidated financial statements of Essex and those of the Operating Partnership. The limited partners of the Operating Partnership are accounted for as partners' capital in the Operating Partnership's consolidated financial statements and as noncontrolling interest in Essex's consolidated financial statements. The noncontrolling interest in the Operating Partnership's consolidated financial statements include the interest of unaffiliated partners in various consolidated partnerships and co-investment partners.
iii


The noncontrolling interest in Essex's consolidated financial statements include (i) the same noncontrolling interest as presented in the Operating Partnership’s consolidated financial statements and (ii) OP Unitholders. The differences between stockholders' equity and partners' capital result from differences in the equity issued at Essex and Operating Partnership levels.

To help investors understand the significant differences between Essex and the Operating Partnership, this report on Form 10-K provides separate consolidated financial statements for Essex and the Operating Partnership; a single set of consolidated notes to such financial statements that includes separate discussions of stockholders' equity or partners' capital, and earnings per share/unit, as applicable; and a combined Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

This report on Form 10-K also includes separate Part II, Item 9A. Controls and Procedures sections and separate Exhibits 31 and 32 certifications for each of Essex and the Operating Partnership in order to establish that the requisite certifications have been made and that Essex and the Operating Partnership are compliant with Rule 13a-15 or Rule 15d-15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and 18 U.S.C. §1350.

In order to highlight the differences between Essex and the Operating Partnership, the separate sections in this report on Form 10-K for Essex and the Operating Partnership specifically refer to Essex and the Operating Partnership. In the sections that combine disclosure of Essex and the Operating Partnership, this report refers to actions or holdings as being actions or holdings of the Company. Although the Operating Partnership is generally the entity that directly or indirectly enters into contracts and co-investments and holds assets and debt, reference to the Company is appropriate because the Company is one business and the Company operates that business through the Operating Partnership. The separate discussions of Essex and the Operating Partnership in this report should be read in conjunction with each other to understand the results of the Company on a consolidated basis and how management operates the Company.

The information furnished in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets, statements of income, comprehensive income, equity, capital, and cash flows of the Company and the Operating Partnership reflect all adjustments which are, in the opinion of management, necessary for a fair presentation of the aforementioned consolidated financial statements for the periods and are normal and recurring in nature, except as otherwise noted.

The accompanying consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the notes to such consolidated financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations herein.
iv


ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST, INC.
ESSEX PORTFOLIO, L.P.
2023 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part I. Page
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 1C.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
Part II.  
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
Item 9C.
Part III.  
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
Part IV. 
Item 15.
Item 16.
 

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PART I
Forward-Looking Statements
 
This Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") and Section 21E of the Exchange Act.  Such forward-looking statements are described in Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, "Forward-Looking Statements." Actual results could differ materially from those set forth in each forward-looking statement.  Certain factors that might cause such a difference are discussed in this report, including in Item 1A, Risk Factors of this Form 10-K.
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Item 1. Business

OVERVIEW

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, 2023, had an approximately 96.6% general partner 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, 2023, the Company owned or had ownership interests in 252 operating apartment communities, aggregating 61,997 apartment homes, excluding the Company's ownership in preferred equity co-investments, loan investments, three operating commercial buildings, and a development pipeline comprised of one unconsolidated joint venture project and various predevelopment projects aggregating 264 apartment homes (collectively, the "Portfolio").

The Company’s website address is http://www.essex.com. The Company’s annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports, and the Proxy Statement for its Annual Meeting of Stockholders are available, free of charge, on its website as soon as practicable after the Company files the reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The information contained on the Company's website shall not be deemed to be incorporated into this report.

BUSINESS STRATEGIES

The following is a discussion of the Company’s business strategies in regards to real estate investment and management.

Business Strategies

Research Driven Approach to Investments The Company believes that successful real estate investment decisions and portfolio growth begin with extensive regional economic research and local market knowledge. The Company continually assesses markets where the Company operates, as well as markets where the Company considers future investment opportunities by evaluating markets and focusing on the following strategic criteria:

Major metropolitan areas that have regional population in excess of one million;
Constraints on new supply driven by: (i) low availability of developable land sites where competing housing could be economically built; (ii) political growth barriers, such as protected land, urban growth boundaries, and potential lengthy and expensive development permit processes; and (iii) natural limitations to development, such as mountains or waterways;
Rental demand enhanced by affordability of rents relative to costs of for-sale housing; and
Housing demand based on job growth, proximity to jobs, high median incomes and the quality of life including related commuting factors.

Recognizing that all real estate markets are cyclical, the Company regularly evaluates the results of its regional economic, and local market research, and adjusts the geographic focus of its portfolio accordingly. The Company seeks to increase its portfolio allocation in markets projected to have the strongest local economies and to decrease allocations in markets projected to have declining economic conditions. Likewise, the Company also seeks to increase its portfolio allocation in markets that have attractive property valuations and to decrease allocations in markets that have inflated valuations and low relative yields.

Property Operations – The Company manages its communities by focusing on activities that may generate above-average rental growth, tenant retention/satisfaction and long-term asset appreciation.  The Company intends to achieve this by utilizing the strategies set forth below:

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Property Management  Oversee delivery and quality of the housing provided to our tenants and manage the properties financial performance.
Capital Preservation – The Company's asset management services are responsible for the planning, budgeting and completion of major capital improvement projects at the Company’s communities.
Business Planning and Control – Comprehensive business plans are implemented in conjunction with significant investment decisions. These plans include benchmarks for future financial performance based on collaborative discussions between on-site managers, the operations leadership team, and senior management.
Development and Redevelopment – The Company focuses on acquiring and developing apartment communities in supply constrained markets, and redeveloping its existing communities to improve the financial and physical aspects of the Company’s communities.

CURRENT BUSINESS ACTIVITIES

Acquisitions of Real Estate Interests

The table below summarizes acquisition activity for the year ended December 31, 2023 ($ in millions):
Property NameLocationApartment HomesEssex Ownership PercentageOwnershipQuarter in 2023Purchase Price
Hacienda at Camarillo OaksCamarillo, CA73 100 %EPLP Q2$23.1 
Total 202373    $23.1 

Dispositions of Real Estate

As part of its strategic plan to own quality real estate in supply-constrained markets, the Company continually evaluates all of its communities and sells those communities that no longer meet the Company's strategic criteria. The Company may use the capital generated from the dispositions to invest in higher-return communities, other real estate investments or to fund other commitments. The Company believes that the sale of these communities will not have a material impact on its future results of operations or cash flows nor will the sale of these communities materially affect the Company's ongoing operations. In general, the Company seeks to offset the dilutive impact on long-term earnings and funds from operations from these dispositions through the positive impact of reinvestment of proceeds.

The table below summarizes disposition activity for the year ended December 31, 2023 ($ in millions):
Property Name (1)
LocationApartment HomesOwnershipQuarter in 2023Sales Price
CBC and The SweepsGoleta, CA239 EPLPQ1$91.7 
(2)
Total 2023239   $91.7 

(1)    In March 2023, the Company sold a land parcel located in Moorpark, CA, that had been held for future development, for $8.7 million and recognized a gain on sale of $4.7 million.
(2)    The Company recognized a $54.5 million gain on sale.
















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Development Pipeline

The Company defines development projects as new communities that are being constructed, or are newly constructed and are in a phase of lease-up and have not yet reached stabilized operations. As of December 31, 2023, the Company's development pipeline was comprised of one unconsolidated joint venture project under development aggregating 264 apartment homes and various predevelopment projects, with total incurred costs of $114.0 million. The estimated remaining project costs are approximately $12.0 million, of which $6.5 million represents the Company's share of estimated remaining costs, for total estimated project costs of $126.0 million.

The Company defines predevelopment projects as proposed communities in negotiation or in the entitlement process with an expected high likelihood of becoming entitled development projects. As of December 31, 2023, the Company had various consolidated predevelopment projects. The Company may also acquire land for future development purposes.

The following table sets forth information regarding the Company’s development pipeline ($ in millions):
   As of
12/31/2023
   EssexEstimatedIncurredEstimated
Development PipelineLocationOwnership%Apartment Homes
Project Cost (1)
Project Cost(1)
Development Projects - Joint Venture     
LIVIA at Scripps Ranch (2)
San Diego, CA51%264 $90 $102 
Total Development Projects - Joint Venture   264 90 102 
Predevelopment Projects - Consolidated     
Other ProjectsVarious100%— 24 24 
Total - Consolidated Predevelopment Projects  — 24 24 
Grand Total - Development and Predevelopment Pipeline  264 $114 $126 

(1)Includes costs related to the entire project, including both the Company's and joint venture partners' costs. Includes incurred costs and estimated costs to complete these development projects. For predevelopment projects, only incurred costs are included in estimated costs.
(2)Incurred project cost and estimated project cost are net of a projected value for low income housing tax credit proceeds and the value of the tax-exempt bond structure.

Long Term Debt

During 2023, the Company made regularly scheduled principal payments of $2.9 million to its secured mortgage notes payable at an average interest rate of 3.7%.

In July 2023, the Company closed $298.0 million in 10-year secured loans priced at 5.08% fixed interest rates encumbering four properties located in Northern California.

Bank Debt

As of December 31, 2023, Moody’s Investor Service and Standard and Poor's ("S&P") credit agencies rated Essex Property Trust, Inc. and Essex Portfolio, L.P. Baa1/Stable and BBB+/Stable, respectively.

At December 31, 2023, the Company had two unsecured lines of credit aggregating $1.24 billion. The Company's $1.2 billion credit facility had an interest rate of Adjusted Secured Overnight Financing Rate ("Adjusted SOFR") plus 0.75% which is based on a tiered rate structure tied to the Company's credit ratings, adjusted for the Company's sustainability metric grid, and a scheduled maturity date of January 2027 with two six-month extensions, exercisable at the Company's option. The Company's $35.0 million working capital unsecured line of credit had an interest rate of Adjusted SOFR plus 0.75%, which is based on a tiered rate structure tied to the Company's credit ratings, adjusted for the Company's sustainability metric grid, and a scheduled maturity date of July 2024.


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Equity Transactions

During the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company did not issue any shares of common stock through its equity distribution agreement entered into in September 2021 (the "2021 ATM Program"). As of December 31, 2023, there were no outstanding forward sale agreements, and $900.0 million of shares remain available to be sold under the 2021 ATM Program.

In September 2022, the Company's Board of Directors approved a new stock repurchase plan to allow the Company to acquire shares of common stock up to an aggregate value of $500.0 million. The plan supersedes the Company's previous common stock repurchase plan announced in December 2015. During the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company repurchased and retired 437,026 shares of its common stock totaling $95.7 million, including commissions. As of December 31, 2023, the Company had $302.7 million of purchase authority remaining under its $500.0 million stock repurchase plan.

Co-investments

The Company has entered into, and may continue in the future to enter into, joint ventures or partnerships (including limited liability companies) through which it owns an indirect economic interest in less than 100% of the community or land or other investments owned directly by the joint venture or partnership. For each joint venture the Company holds a non-controlling interest in the venture and, in most cases, may earn customary management fees, development fees, asset property management fees, and a promote interest.

The Company has also made, and may continue in the future to make, preferred equity investments in various multifamily development projects. The Company earns a preferred rate of return on these investments.

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

Company Overview and Values

The Company is headquartered in San Mateo, CA, and has regional corporate offices in Woodland Hills, CA; Irvine, CA and Bellevue, WA. As of December 31, 2023, the Company had 1,750 employees, 99.8% of whom were full-time employees. A total of 1,321 employees worked on-site at our operating communities and 429 worked in our corporate offices. The Company's mission is to create quality communities in premier locations and it is critical to the Company's mission that it attracts, trains and retains a talented and diverse team by providing a better place to work and significant opportunities for professional growth. The Company's culture supports its mission and is guided by its core values: to act with integrity, to care about what matters, to do right with urgency, to lead at every level and to seek fairness.

Workplace Diversity

The Company believes it has one of the most diverse workforces among its peers in the real estate industry in part due to its robust and integrated diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy, which allows the Company to broaden its perspective and better serve both the communities it operates in and the associates it employs. The Company has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ("DEI") Committee which directs the overarching goal setting, implementation, and follow-up for DEI initiatives and whose chairperson reports directly to the CEO on the Committee’s activities. All Company associates are offered training aimed at preventing workplace harassment, including harassment based on age, gender or ethnicity, training covering the foundations of DEI and awareness of unconscious bias in the workplace, and all managers are required to complete anti-harassment training. The Company supports the employee-led affinity groups, including Women at Essex and the LGBTQ+ focused Rainbow Alliance, which foster a sense of community and inclusion for a diverse mix of associates at the Company through discussions and activities that are intended to engage, educate, enable, and empower the Company's employees. The DEI Committee’s goals for 2023 included increasing the Company’s training offerings, integrating DEI into talent recruitment processes, strengthening employee resource and affinity groups, making contributions to local DEI organizations, and improving recognition.

The Company’s notable diversity achievements for 2023 include the following data as of December 31, 2023:

The Company’s workforce self-identified as 71% ethnically or culturally diverse.

53% of the Company’s managerial level employees, including 38% of its senior executives, self-identified as ethnically or culturally diverse.

There were 216 women in positions of manager or higher, equating to 61% of managerial positions in the Company.

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The Company’s workforce self-identified as 42% female and 57% male (1% chose not to disclose their gender).

60% of the Company’s corporate associates self-identified as female.

The charts below detail the Company’s diverse representation as of December 31, 2023:

Total Workforce

Picture3.jpg

Executives & Management

Ethnicity

Ethnicity.jpg

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Gender
Picture 6.jpg

Training and Development

The Company values leadership at every level and enables the same by providing opportunities for all associates to develop personal and professional skills through programs that encourage associate retention and advancement. The Company currently offers training courses to its associates via Workday Learning, and its associates spent 22,373 hours learning in 2023. The Company also provides its associates with an annual $3,000 tuition reimbursement to further support outside professional growth opportunities. To identify, retain and reward top performers, the Company engages in meaningful internal succession planning and offers a tenure program, excellence awards, and a spot bonus recognition program to reward associates for good teamwork, good ideas, and good service. The Company encourages internal promotions and hiring for open positions, and the executive team actively mentors the Company’s top talent to ensure strong leadership at the Company for the future. 37% of the Company’s associates have approached or surpassed the Company’s average tenure of 6.35 years, with 21% reaching beyond 10 years of service. In 2023, the Company promoted 13% of its employees to higher positions in the Company.

Employee Health, Safety and Wellness

Providing a safe working environment and promoting employee safety is imperative to the Company, and the Company continued to prioritize its associates’ health and safety throughout 2023. The Company has safety policies in place that align with its health and safety goals and seeks to proactively prevent workplace accidents and protect the health and safety of the Company's associates through training and analysis of incident reports. Additionally, the Company offers retirement support, associate discount programs, a mental health program, which includes counseling and coaching sessions for mental well-being support at no cost, and refresh days for our operations teams, and health benefit credits for participation in wellness programs.

Compensation and Benefits

The Company offers competitive compensation to secure and retain top talent. The Company engages in an annual compensation study to align compensation with market standards and to ensure the Company is appropriately compensating its top performers. Alongside competitive pay, the Company is committed to pay equity and parity, and conducts a pay equity analysis on an annual basis which includes the development and use of a robust, multiple regression analysis model to confirm the Company’s continued achievement of gender pay parity.

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The Company’s total rewards program further reinforces its commitment to investing in the well-being of its associates while incentivizing its employees to promote fulfillment of the Company’s mission. Beyond competitive compensation, the Company offers a suite of benefits, including health insurance, a retirement plan with a $6,000 annual matching potential benefit, life and disability coverage, supplemental paid parental leave, and the robust health and wellness support programs noted above. Additionally, the Company offers an associate housing discount.

Community and Social Impact

The Company believes volunteering can create positive change in the communities where our associates live and work and that the Company's commitment to giving back helps it attract and retain associates. The Company's Volunteer Program is aimed at supporting and encouraging eligible associates to become actively involved in their communities through the Company's support of charity initiatives and offering paid hours for volunteer time. Additionally, the Company’s “Essex Cares” program provides direct aid to the Company’s residents, associates, and local communities, including those who have experienced financial hardships.

Employee Engagement

In order to engage and promote communication with our associates and solicit meaningful feedback on our efforts to create a positive work environment, the Company issues engagement surveys to all associates to measure 10 key drivers of employee engagement including goal setting, organizational fit, DEI, well-being, freedom of opinion, meaningful work, management support and recognition, among others. Engagement surveys are split into three phases: new hire surveys, Company-wide bi-annual surveys, and exit surveys. 85% of Company employees participated in the surveys in 2023. The Company’s overall engagement score on the surveys was 8.0 out of 10. Goal setting, meaningful work, management support, DEI, and social well-being were recognized as the top 5 areas of strength for the organization.

INSURANCE

The Company purchases general liability and property insurance coverage, including loss of rent, for each of its communities. The Company also purchases limited earthquake, terrorism, environmental and flood insurance. There are certain types of losses which may not be covered or could exceed coverage limits. The insurance programs are subject to deductibles and self-insured retentions in varying amounts. The Company utilizes a wholly owned insurance subsidiary, Pacific Western Insurance LLC ("PWI"), to self-insure certain earthquake and property losses. As of December 31, 2023, PWI had cash and marketable securities of approximately $125.5 million, and is consolidated in the Company's financial statements.

All of the Company's communities are located in areas that are subject to earthquake activity. The Company evaluates its financial loss exposure to seismic events by using actuarial loss models developed by the insurance industry and in most cases property vulnerability analysis based on structural evaluations by seismic consultants. The Company manages this exposure, where considered appropriate, desirable, and cost-effective, by upgrading properties to increase their resistance to forces caused by seismic events, by considering available funds and coverages provided by PWI and/or by purchasing seismic insurance. In most cases the Company also purchases limited earthquake insurance for certain properties owned by the Company's co-investments.
In addition, the Company carries other types of insurance coverage related to a variety of risks and exposures.  
Based on market conditions, the Company may change or potentially eliminate insurance coverages, or increase levels of self-insurance. Further, the Company may incur losses, which could be material, due to uninsured risks, deductibles and self-insured retentions, and/or losses in excess of coverage limits.
COMPETITION

There are numerous housing alternatives that compete with the Company’s communities in attracting tenants. These include other apartment communities, condominiums and single-family homes. If the demand for the Company’s communities is reduced or if competitors develop and/or acquire competing housing, rental rates and occupancy may drop which may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

The Company faces competition from other REITs, businesses and other entities in the acquisition, development and operation of apartment communities. Some competitors are larger and have greater financial resources than the Company. This competition may result in increased costs of apartment communities the Company acquires and/or develops.

WORKING CAPITAL
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The Company believes that cash flows generated by its operations, existing cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities balances, availability under existing lines of credit, access to capital markets and the ability to generate cash from the disposition of real estate are sufficient to meet all of its reasonably anticipated cash needs during 2024.

The timing, source and amounts of cash flows provided by financing activities and used in investing activities are sensitive to changes in interest rates, stock price, and other fluctuations in the capital markets environment, which can affect the Company’s plans for acquisitions, dispositions, development and redevelopment activities.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS

As a real estate owner and operator, we are subject to various federal, state and local environmental laws, regulations and ordinances and may be subject to liability and the costs of removal or remediation of certain potentially hazardous materials that may be present in our communities. See the discussion under the caption, "Risks Related to Real Estate Investments and Our Operations - The Company’s portfolio may have environmental liabilities" in Item 1A, Risk Factors, for information concerning the potential effect of environmental regulations on its operations, which discussion is incorporated by reference into this Item 1.

OTHER MATTERS

Certain Policies of the Company

The Company intends to continue to operate in a manner that will not subject it to regulation under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The Company may in the future (i) issue securities senior to its common stock, (ii) fund acquisition activities with borrowings under its line of credit and (iii) offer shares of common stock and/or units of limited partnership interest in the Operating Partnership or affiliated partnerships as partial consideration for property acquisitions. The Company from time to time acquires partnership interests in partnerships and joint ventures, either directly or indirectly through subsidiaries of the Company, when such entities’ underlying assets are real estate.

The Company invests primarily in apartment communities that are located in predominantly coastal markets within Southern California, Northern California, and the Seattle metropolitan area. The Company currently intends to continue to invest in apartment communities in such regions. However, the geographical composition of the portfolio is evaluated periodically and may be modified by management.
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ITEM 1A: RISK FACTORS
For purposes of this section, the term "stockholders" means the holders of shares of Essex Property Trust, Inc.’s common stock. Set forth below are the risks that we believe are material to Essex Property Trust, Inc.’s stockholders and Essex Portfolio, L.P.’s unitholders. You should carefully consider the following factors in evaluating our Company, our properties and our business.

Our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, those set forth below, any one of which could cause our actual operating results to vary materially from recent results or from our anticipated future results.

Risks Related to Our Real Estate Investments and Operations

General real estate investment risks may adversely affect property income and values, and therefore our stock price may be adversely affected. If the communities and other real estate investments, including development and redevelopment properties, do not generate sufficient income to meet operating and financing expenses, cash flow and the ability to make distributions will be adversely affected. Income and growth from the communities may be further adversely affected by, among other things, the following factors, in addition to the other risk factors listed in this Item 1A:
changes in the general or local economic climate that could affect demand for housing, including layoffs, due to an increase in the use of new technologies to replace workers, slowing job growth, and other events negatively impacting local employment rates, wages and the local economy;
changes in demand for rental housing due to a variety of factors, including relocations of employees from local employers, increased worker locational flexibility and changing demographics, which could lead to a relative decrease in the renting population as the domestic population skews older due to the aging of baby boomers and older people may be more likely to purchase, rather than rent, homes,
changes in supply and cost of housing;
changes in economic conditions, such as high inflationary periods in which our operating and financing costs may increase at a rate greater than our ability to increase rents, or deflationary periods where rents may decline more quickly relative to operating and financing costs; and
the appeal and desirability of our communities to tenants relative to other housing alternatives, including the size and amenity offerings, safety and location convenience, and our technology offerings.
Short-term leases expose us to the effects of declining market rents, and the Company may be unable to renew leases or relet units as leases expire. If the Company is unable to promptly renew or re-let existing leases, or if the rental rates upon renewal or reletting are significantly lower than expected rates, then the Company’s results of operations and financial condition will be adversely affected.

Economic environments can negatively impact the Company’s liquidity and operating results. In the event of a recession or other negative economic effects, the Company could incur reductions in rental and occupancy rates, property valuations and increases in costs. Any such recession or economic downturn may also affect consumer confidence and spending and negatively impact the volume and pricing of real estate transactions, which could negatively affect the Company’s liquidity and its ability to vary its portfolio promptly in response to changes to the economy. Furthermore, if residents do not increase their income, they may be unable or unwilling to pay rent.

Rent control, or other changes in applicable laws, or noncompliance with applicable laws, could adversely affect the Company's operations, property values or expose us to liability. The Company must own, operate, manage, acquire, develop and redevelop its properties in compliance with numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations, some of which may conflict with one another or be subject to limited judicial or regulatory interpretations. These laws and regulations may include zoning laws, building codes, rent control or stabilization laws, emergency orders, laws benefiting disabled persons, federal, state and local tax laws, landlord tenant laws, environmental laws, employment laws, immigration laws and other laws regulating housing or that are generally applicable to the Company's business and operations. Changes in, or noncompliance with, laws and regulations could expose the Company to liability and could require the Company to make significant unanticipated expenditures to address noncompliance.

Existing and future rent control or rent stabilization laws and regulations, along with similar laws and regulations that expand tenants’ rights or impose additional costs on landlords, may reduce rental revenues or increase operating costs. Such laws and regulations limit our ability to charge market rents, increase rents, evict tenants or recover increases in our operating expenses and could reduce the value of our communities or make it more difficult for us to dispose of properties in certain circumstances. Expenses associated with our investment in these communities, such as debt service, real estate taxes, insurance and maintenance costs, are generally not reduced when circumstances cause a reduction in rental income from the community.


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The future outbreak of contagious diseases could materially affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. If there is a future outbreak of contagious diseases, such as COVID-19, the Company may be subject to eviction moratoria or limits on rent increases and collection efforts, or may be legally required to or otherwise agree to restructure tenants’ rent obligations on less favorable terms than those currently in place. In the event of tenant nonpayment, default or bankruptcy, we may incur costs in protecting our investment, collecting delinquent rents, and re-leasing our property and we may have limited ability to renew existing leases or sign new leases at levels consistent with market rents. A new pandemic or disease outbreak may also cause increased costs, lower profitability and market fluctuations that may affect our ability to obtain necessary funds for our business or may otherwise negatively impact the ability of the Company’s third-party mezzanine loan borrowers and preferred equity investment sponsors to repay the Company. Additionally, the Company may be subject to temporary or permanent legislative restrictions that may inhibit our ability to conduct normal business activities including timely repairs, maintenance and customer service

Acquisitions of communities involve various risks and uncertainties and may fail to meet expectations. The Company’s acquisition of apartment communities may fail to meet the Company’s expectations due to factors including inaccurate estimates of future income, expenses and the costs of improvements or redevelopment, which may be exacerbated by the lack of current market data due to limited deal flow. Further, the value and operational performance of an apartment community may be diminished if neighborhood changes occur before we are able to redevelop or sell the community. Also, in connection with such acquisitions, we may assume unknown or contingent liabilities, which could ultimately lead to material costs for us that we did not expect to incur. In addition, the total amount of costs and expenses that may be incurred with respect to liabilities associated with apartment communities may exceed our expectations, and we may experience other unanticipated adverse effects, all of which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. The use of equity financing for future developments or acquisitions could dilute the interest of the Company’s existing stockholders. If the Company finances new acquisitions under existing lines of credit, there is a risk that, unless the Company obtains substitute financing, the Company may not be able to undertake additional borrowing for further acquisitions or developments or such borrowing may not be available on advantageous terms.

Development and redevelopment activities may be delayed, not completed, and/or not achieve expected results. The Company pursues development and redevelopment projects, including densification projects and those activities generally entail certain risks, including:

funds may be expended and management's time devoted to projects that may not be completed on time or at all;
construction costs may exceed original estimates possibly making some projects economically unfeasible;
projects may be delayed or abandoned due to, without limitation, weather conditions, labor or material shortages, municipal office closures and staff shortages, government recommended or mandated work stoppages, or environmental remediation;
occupancy rates and rents at a completed project may be less than anticipated;
expenses may be higher than anticipated, including, without limitation, due to inflationary pressures, supply chain issues, costs of litigation over construction contracts, environmental remediation or increased costs for labor, materials and leasing;
we are reliant on third party contractors’ and vendors’ ability to deliver services and products as planned, and if the timeframe, quality or scope of such services and products are different than we expected, our projects may be subject to increased costs and our future income may be lower than expected;
we may be unable to obtain, or experience a delay in obtaining, necessary governmental approvals or third party permits and authorizations, which could result in increased costs or delay or abandonment of opportunities;
we may be unable to obtain financing with favorable terms, or at all, for the proposed development or redevelopment of a community, which may cause us to delay or abandon an opportunity; and
we may incur liabilities to third parties during the development process.

The geographic concentration of the Company’s communities and fluctuations in local markets may adversely impact the Company’s financial condition and operating results. The Company’s communities are concentrated in Northern and Southern California and the Seattle metropolitan area, which exposes the Company to greater economic risks. Factors that may adversely affect local market and economic conditions include regional specific acts of nature (e.g., earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.), layoffs affecting specific or broad sectors of the economy (such as technology-based companies), and those other factors listed in the risk factor titled “General real estate investment risks may adversely affect property income and values” and elsewhere in this Item 1A.

The Company is susceptible to adverse developments in economic and regulatory environments, such as increases in real estate and other taxes, and increased costs of complying with governmental regulations. The State of California recently experienced increased relocation out of the state and is generally regarded as more litigious, highly regulated and taxed than many states, which may reduce demand for the Company’s communities.
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Any adverse developments in the economy or real estate markets in California or Washington, or any decrease in demand for the Company’s communities resulting from the California or Washington regulatory or business environments, could have an adverse effect on the Company’s business and results of operations. Additionally, the political climates in California and Washington, in combination with the states’ and certain local governments’ relatively long suspension of rent payments and the corresponding restriction on evicting tenants due to non-payment of rent in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, may have shifted some residents’ attitudes about the necessity of making rent payments. This shift could reduce some residents’ willingness to pay rent and therefore the Company may continue to experience higher than historical average delinquency rates, which could adversely impact the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

The Company may experience various increased costs, including increased property taxes, to own and maintain its properties. Real property taxes on our properties may increase as our properties are reassessed by taxing authorities or as property tax rates change. Our real estate taxes in Washington could increase as a result of property value reassessments or increased property tax rates. A California law commonly referred to as Proposition 13 (“Prop 13”) generally limits annual real estate tax increases on California properties to 2% of assessed value. However, under Prop 13, property tax reassessment generally occurs as a result of a "change in ownership" of a property. Because the property taxing authorities may not determine whether there has been a "change in ownership" or the actual reassessed value of a property for a period of time after a transaction has occurred, we may not know the impact of a potential reassessment for a considerable amount of time following a particular transaction. Therefore, the amount of property taxes we are required to pay could increase substantially from the property taxes we currently pay or have paid in the past, including on a retroactive basis. Various initiatives to repeal or amend Prop 13, to eliminate its application to commercial and residential property, to increase the permitted annual real estate tax increases, and/or to introduce split tax roll legislation could increase the assessed value and/or tax rates applicable to commercial property in California. Further, changes in U.S. federal tax law could cause state and local governments to alter their taxation of real property.

The Company may experience increased costs associated with capital improvements and property maintenance as its properties advance through their life cycles. In some cases, we may spend more than budgeted amounts to make necessary improvements or maintenance, which could adversely impact the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

Competition in the apartment community market and other housing alternatives may adversely affect operations and the rental demand for the Company’s communities. There are numerous housing alternatives that compete with the Company’s communities in attracting tenants, including other apartment communities, condominiums and single-family homes. Competitive housing in a particular area and fluctuations in cost of owner-occupied single- and multifamily homes caused by a decrease in housing prices, mortgage interest rates and/or government programs to promote home ownership or create additional rental and/or other types of housing, or an increase in desire for more space due to work-from-home needs or increased time spent at home, could adversely affect the Company’s ability to retain its tenants, lease apartment homes and increase or maintain rents. If the demand for the Company’s communities is reduced, rental rates may drop, which may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations. The Company also faces competition from other businesses and other entities in the acquisition, development and operation of apartment communities. This competition may result in increased costs to acquire or develop apartment communities or impact the Company’s ability to identify suitable acquisition or development transactions.

Investments in mortgages, mezzanine loans, subordinated debt, other real estate, and other marketable securities could adversely affect the Company’s cash flow from operations. The Company may purchase or otherwise invest in securities issued by entities which own real estate and/or invest in mortgages or unsecured debt obligations. The Company may make or acquire mezzanine loans, which are generally subordinated loans. In general, investing in mortgages involves risk, including that the value of mortgaged property may be less than the amounts owed, causing realized or unrealized losses; the borrower may not pay indebtedness under the mortgage when due and amounts recovered by the Company in connection with related foreclosures may be less than the amount owed; interest rates payable on the mortgages may be lower than the Company’s cost of funds; in the case of junior mortgages, foreclosure of a senior mortgage could eliminate the junior mortgage; delays in the collection of principal and interest if a borrower claims bankruptcy; possible senior lender default or overconcentration of senior lenders in portfolio; and unanticipated early prepayments may limit the Company’s expected return on its investment. If any of the above were to occur, it could adversely affect the Company’s cash flows from operations.

The Company’s ownership of co-investments, including joint ventures and joint ownership of communities, its ownership of properties with shared facilities with a homeowners' association or other entity, its ownership of properties subject to a ground lease and its preferred equity investments and its other partial interests in entities that own communities, could limit the Company’s ability to control such communities and may restrict our ability to finance, refinance, sell or otherwise transfer our interests in these properties and expose us to loss of the properties if such agreements are breached by us or terminated. The Company has entered into, and may continue in the future to enter into, certain co-investments, including joint ventures or partnerships through which it owns an indirect economic interest in less than 100% of the community or land or other investments owned direc