It's not the worst apartment I have lived in. But for the price, I would stay far far away. The building is located on the east side of Lincoln. It's barely Marina del Rey. On the weekends traffic on Lincoln will be so backed up it will take you 20 minutes to pull out of the drive way. Tenants are always smoking in the halls and throwing their cigarette butts on the floor. Fire alarms are common. The walls are very thin. You will hear your neighbors at all hours of the day and night. I had to ask maintenance to clean the cob webs from outside the window at least once a month. They were so bad it looks like halloween decorations. A single bedroom apartment is tiny. It's barely over 700 sqft. There are a few employees that run the day to day that are nice, Edgar and Lissette. The security staff is nice. The manager is a liar that refuses to refund my security deposit. He sent me falsified invoices for paint that does not add up. He sent me a carpet cleaning invoice for the wrong amount that is dated 7/6. I moved out 7/29. Besides being a liar he is clearly not that bright. You will be forced to pay an additional 40 - 60 each month to company called "conservices." Stay far away from this building and Essex. There are many better apartments in the area.
There are very few good things I can say about this place. It's conveniently located on Lincoln, close by Marina fwy. You can get on 405 in 3-4 minutes, as there is never any traffic on marina fwy. It is also a newer building. I would say the main problem of this building is management and personnel. People who work here are slow, lazy and incompetent. A simple issues like changing a battery in your gated parking remote takes 40 minutes to resolve. You'll stand there waiting, and they will take a 15 minute call explaining to a new customer what they have available. The personnel's attitude is very dismissing, they look at you as an unnecessary problem. Don't expect a cheerful "hello!" when you walk into the leasing office. Then there is a shady utilities scheme that they run. In a normal community you set up your own service accounts. here you do the same, but on top of your usual bills you get a "conservice" bill. It will include all sorts of "service" and "convenience" fees for the services you are already paying for. So expect to pay another 100$ a month for God knows what. The building itself is pretty new, looks nice. But after you live there for a month or two you realize that walls are made of paper. I lived in Westwood in some noise student populated buildings, so I am not overly sensitive. But here you'll hear your neighbor flushing a toilet in the middle of the night as if it was happening right next to you. Your neighbor downstairs will constantly complain that you walk too loud... Can you fly above floors? So, the point is who ever built this complex made some major cuts. Low quality in a shiny package. I'd like to make a separate point about elevators. It take FOREVER! My average wait-time was around 4 minutes. And then another 60 seconds to get from ground to floor 3. It may not seem like a lot, but you can take stairs in under 60 seconds to floor 3. So, each time you go out you lose 5 minutes, then come back in another 5 minutes. It adds up. There was too much elevator time in my life when I lived there. Finally, you may expect to live close by the ocean here, but in reality it's too far. You have to drive to the beach and pay those ridiculous $25 parking fees at the beach. there is no beach within walking distance (and I like to walk 3-5 miles a day). In conclusion, you'll find a better place for the price. Keep looking.
Pros: location, amenities. Cons: Prices. Small balconies. Noisy A/C. Poor soundproofing - you can hear people above walk, talk, watch TV - will keep you up at 2am... 5am.... Poor Internet options ($40/mo 1Mbit/256K), poor cell reception in the building. Poor security. Worst: unpredictability of renewal hikes. People hate moving - BRE knows it and capitalizes on that by jacking up lease prices 10-25%. BRE purchased this building in 2010; I moved out after 5 years. Main reason: whopping, evil rent hikes.
On the surface, it's very nice and compared to other places it's definitely better. The downside is, motorcycles get stolen from the gated garage, gps from the car and management doesn't seem to be very efficient. They try, though. This building has changed management about once a year, which is a probable sign that it is more than a handful of pre-existing problems. Nothing too serious, except for the gated garage problem as far as I've seen.