Essex Property Trust remains one of the most active buyers in the apartment space. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based REIT recently acquired 165 apartments and 38,543 square feet of retail space with the $31.1 million purchase of the Santee Court in Los Angeles. The nearly 100-year-old garment district building was converted to residential use in 2004 and provides the owner with tax advantages if it maintains the building to historic preservation standards. In our opinion, the deal not only showcases the buying power of the REITs (Essex bought the deal with all cash) but also the power of Santee Court’s rising neighborhood. Last week, Kennedy Wilson and RECP Urban Partners bought 167 condos and 18,694 square feet in the area.