SOURCE: Essex Property Trust

Essex Property Trust

February 25, 2009 19:38 ET

Essex Announces Its 15th Consecutive Annual Dividend Increase

Establishes Record Date for the Annual Shareholders' Meeting

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - February 25, 2009) - Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESS), a real estate investment trust (REIT) with apartment communities located in targeted West Coast markets, announced that its Board of Directors has approved a $0.04 per share annualized increase to its regular cash dividend. Accordingly, the first quarter dividend distribution, payable on April 15, 2009 to shareholders of record as of March 31, 2009, will be $1.03 per share. On an annualized basis, the dividend represents a distribution of $4.12 per common share.

The Board of Directors declared quarterly distributions of $0.48828 and $0.30469 per share, which represent annual distributions of $1.9531 and $1.2188 per share, on its 7.8125% Series F Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Shares and its 4.875% Series G Cumulative Convertible Preferred shares, respectively. Distributions for the 7.8125% Series F Cumulative Redeemable Preferred shares are payable on June 1, 2009 to shareholders of record as of May 15, 2009. Distributions for the 4.875% Series G Cumulative Convertible Preferred shares are payable on April 30, 2009 to shareholders of record as of April 1, 2009.

In addition, Essex's Board of Directors has declared that its Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 1:00 p.m., at The Grand apartments, located at 100 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612. Shareholders of record as of February 27, 2009 will be entitled to vote at the meeting.

Essex Property Trust, Inc., located in Palo Alto, California and traded on the New York Stock Exchange (ESS), is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected West Coast communities. Essex currently has ownership interests in 132 multifamily properties (26,862 units), and has 1,256 units in various stages of development. Additional information about Essex can be found on the Company's web site at www.essexpropertytrust.com.

The statements which are not historical facts contained in this release such as the Company's beliefs regarding its focused and disciplined approach and its dividend being one of the safest in the industry are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to be different than such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, downturns in the markets in which the Company owns property, unexpected delays and costs in connection with development and renovation projects, the impact of competition and competitive pricing, and other risks detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.