This excerpt taken from the EQR 8-K filed Dec 15, 2008.
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Equity Residential (EQR), a Maryland real estate investment trust (REIT) formed in March 1993, is an S&P 500 company focused on the acquisition, development and management of high quality apartment properties in top United States growth markets. EQR has elected to be taxed as a REIT.
EQR is the general partner of, and as of December 31, 2007 owned an approximate 93.6% ownership interest in, ERP Operating Limited Partnership, an Illinois limited partnership (the Operating Partnership). The Company is structured as an umbrella partnership REIT (UPREIT), under which all property ownership and business operations are conducted through the Operating Partnership and its subsidiaries. References to the Company include EQR, the Operating Partnership and those entities owned or controlled by the Operating Partnership and/or EQR.
As of December 31, 2007, the Company, directly or indirectly through investments in title holding entities, owned all or a portion of 579 properties in 24 states and the District of Columbia consisting of 152,821 units. The ownership breakdown includes (table does not include various uncompleted development properties):
The Wholly Owned Properties are accounted for under the consolidation method of accounting. The Company beneficially owns 100% fee simple title to 505 of the 507 Wholly Owned Properties. The Company owns the building and improvements and leases the land underlying the improvements under long-term ground leases that expire in 2026 for one property and 2077 for another property. These properties are consolidated and reflected as real estate assets while the ground leases are accounted for as operating leases in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 13, Accounting for Leases.
The Partially Owned Properties - Consolidated are controlled by the Company but have partners with minority interests and are accounted for under the consolidation method of accounting. The Partially Owned PropertiesUnconsolidated are partially owned but not controlled by the Company and consist of investments in partnership interests and/or subordinated mortgages that are accounted for under the equity method of accounting. The Military Housing (Fee Managed) property consists of an investment in a limited liability company that, as a result of the terms of the operating agreement, is accounted for as a management contract right with all fees recognized as fee and asset management revenue.
Basis of Presentation
Due to the Companys ability as general partner to control either through ownership or by contract the Operating Partnership and its subsidiaries, other than entities that own controlling interests in the Partially Owned PropertiesUnconsolidated and certain other entities in which the Company has investments, the Operating Partnership and each such subsidiary has been consolidated with the Company for financial reporting purposes. Effective March 31, 2004, the consolidated financial statements also include all variable interest entities for which the Company is the primary beneficiary.