MINNETONKA, MN-Welsh Cos. says it will occupy half of the 100,000-sf office building it is constructing on the site of the former Fingerhut headquarters here. The company announced that it will expand from its 42,000 sf that it currently leases in Bloomington.

Welsh bought the property for $8.8 million in July 2006 from the large mail-order catalog operation, and now has a $30-million plan for the property. Bill Krake, president of Welsh Construction, tells GlobeSt.com that the company will tear down an existing 100,000-sf office building on the site, renovate another 89,000-sf office and build the facility that will house its headquarters. A following phase would include another 100,000-sf office building, Krake says.

With a lease up in June 2008, Krake says the company had a few reasons for making the move. “It’s not just the growth of the company,” he says. “We’ve got the opportunity to design, build, own and manage our own headquarters building. Also, most of the employees live over in this area, and we’re only seven miles away from our current location.”

The office market in the area is expanding, with several projects ready to start, Krake says. “I think there’s a growing demand for office space on the west side of Minneapolis, and this will be good class A office space,” he says. The building shell for the headquarters will cost about $10 million, or $100 per foot, to build, he says. Welsh will lease out the remaining space for about $14 to $15 per sf, net, Krake says.

Welsh asked for variances on the second phase building’s height, at more than 45 feet tall, and a sign variance. “We believe this location is a natural site for development of a first class, small office campus with class ‘A’ office space,” said Mike Schraad, vice president of Welsh, in a letter detailing the variances. The southwest Minneapolis suburb market has a 12.4% vacancy rate, with about 344,000 sf of new office under construction, according to a Grubb & Ellis fourth-quarter market report.

Currently, Petters Group Worldwide leases space in the existing 100,000-sf building. Welsh will renovate the 89,000-sf building, and Petters will move there, allowing Welsh to demolish the larger facility.

In 1996, the entire property sold for $5.9 million, says Minnetonka city planner Julie Wischnack. Welsh bought the property for $8.8 million in July 2006. Fingerhut, the large mail-order catalog operation, began its headquarters here in the 1970s.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.