LOS ANGELES-AMB Property, the San Francisco-based real estate giant, has paid an estimated $50 million to add another 850,000 sf of industrial space to its growing Southern California portfolio.

Its latest acquisition is Ford Distribution Center, an eight-building complex near the intersection of Slauson and Eastern boulevards. The 48.7-acre property includes warehouses, some service-center facilities and a truck terminal.

The project is about 95% occupied, according to brokers involved in the deal, which is better than the countywide average of about 93.5%. Its tenants include transportation giant Roadway Express, Unisource, and Gourmet Award Foods.

The project was sold by an investment fund managed by Boston-based pension fund advisor AEW Capital Management. The deal was brokered by a CB Richard Ellis team of Darla Longo, Barbara Emmons and John Privett, along with Eric Hinkelman and Bob Antrobius of Trammell Crow Co.

AMB, AEW Capital and brokers involved in the deal wouldn’t disclose the project’s sale price. But one source familiar with the transaction tells GlobeSt.com the property fetched about $50 million.

The transaction marks the second time in recent months that AMB has acquired a major package of industrial space from AEW. Earlier this year, it bought a portfolio of nearly 1.63 million sf of space near Ford Distribution Center from an AEW fund for about $100 million.

The deal also is another step in AMB’s plan, announced in January, to focus more on industrial properties. Part of the plan calls for the REIT to shed about $1 billion in retail property across the US.

AMB owns and manages about 93 million sf of property across the nation. It primarily targets areas near major airports, seaports or — in the case of Ford Distribution Center and many of its other projects — areas that are close to major freeways.

The REIT has drawn favorable ratings from some Wall Street analysts, in part because its earnings have continued to grow this year despite the nation’s overall economic slowdown. The company recently reported that its per-share earnings in the third quarter, before adjustments for gains and one-time items, rose 6.3% from a year earlier to 34 cents.

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