Petters HQ up for sale

The Minnetonka headquarters of Petters Group Worldwide is currently marketed for sale or lease, according to Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. The company is still occupying the space.

The 90,000 square-foot 33-year-old building, located at 4400 Baker Road, is marketed as immediately available, but Petters is still trying to retain some of the property. Asking price? $9 million. Petters Group former CEO Tom Petters is currently in jail as prosecutors gather evidence of an alleged $3 billion Ponzi scheme.

Welsh Cos., the commercial real estate company that recently relocated its headquarters to the same office campus, is selling the building that was renovated last year to meet Petters Group’s specifications, according to the report.

The listing was posted on the Minnesota Commercial Association of Realtors’ Web site Oct. 15, just two days after Petters Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and about two weeks after company founder Tom Petters was arrested and charged with masterminding a multibillion-dollar fraud scheme. He’s pledged his innocence, but is in jail awaiting further hearings and eventually a trial.

Welsh officials declined to comment on the listing. The terms of Petters Group’s lease in the building are unknown. It continues to occupy space on two of the three floors in the building, said company spokeswoman Andrea Miller.

Petters Group hasn’t made any plans to move out. “Petters Group and Polaroid are working on a new lease agreement” for their space with the partnership that owns the building, Miller said.

An entity called Welsh Baker Road LLC bought the campus in July 2006 for $8.9 million, according to Hennepin County property tax records. Michael Gordon, an attorney at Briggs and Morgan law firm in Minneapolis, is representing Welsh Baker Road as a creditor in the Petters Group bankruptcy case. Gordon couldn’t be reached for comment.

What's next? Employees setting up outdoor work spaces to keep the Petters legacy going? Well he does have a court date tomorrow to try to get out of jail, so maybe he will pay a visit to his old stomping grounds.