IRVINE, Calif. - American Savings Bank, to help manage its corporate real estate holdings, said it has formed an alliance with the San Francisco-based real estate firm of Grubb & Ellis.

Grubb & Ellis' corporate services group will handle real estate acquisition, disposition. and leasing, and assist in corporate planning.

The thrift has 2.8 million square feet of real estate in California, including 169 American retail branches, two administrative facilities, and several commercial buildings used for administrative support and storage.

About 40% is owned and 60% leased, said Rich Liddell, vice president and manager of corporate real estate.

"My goal is to manage our real estate portfolio as a profit center," he said, adding that Grubb & Ellis has "one of the best software programs to track and manage corporate real estate portfolios."

American has $17 billion in assets and ranks among the thrift industry's top 10.

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