SEATTLE, WA – It might sound odd, but food trucks are playing a role in multi-million dollar commercial real estate investments.

The operators of some suburban-style offices in the greater Seattle area are bringing in the trucks to give their properties the urban pizzazz that tenants hunger for.

It wasn’t too long ago that the word “suburban” was an anathema to many buyers of commercial office space. Sprawling suburban campuses were, for the most part, considered a poor investment since tenants wanted to be in more lively central business districts, where it’s easier to attract employees.

Look at what happened in 2010, when 66 Seattle area properties sold for nearly $1.3 billion. Of that amount, just two downtown Bellevue properties, the Bravern and City Center Plaza office towers sold for a combined $720 million, accounting for more than half of that dollar volume.

The competition for urban assets drove prices up to the point that investors’ yields dropped, and the luster started to wear off.

“You started to hear the term ‘urban fatigue,’” said Greg MacDiarmid, a regional operating partner for Seattle-based Schnitzer West.

And real estate investors started to look outside the region’s key central business districts for investment opportunities.

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