York County responds after Panthers owner David Tepper’s real estate company files for bankruptcy over Rock Hill project
The Rock Hill Project is over.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Carolina Panthers billionaire owner David Tepper’s real estate company, GT Real Estate Holdings, LLC, filed for bankruptcy in Delaware on Wednesday night.
GT Real Estate Holdings, LLC was created in September 2019 in anticipation of Tepper’s Rock Hill headquarters project, which began in 2020.
In April, they terminated the contract with the city of Rock Hill and WBTV began an investigation and review of public-private partnerships with Tepper Sports & Entertainment, which has raised questions about how often Tepper’s target is shifting.
Filing for Chapter 11 puts an end to the project officially.
Related: Owner dodges questions on Eastland, Rock Hill and Uptown District as hints about stadium renovations emerge
On Thursday, York County leaders released a statement saying the county government is listed as one of the creditors in the bankruptcy action. Additionally, they noted that GT Real Estate entered into an agreement with the county to upgrade a section of Mt. Gallant Road, which borders the headquarters.
“York County contributed $21 million toward the Mt. Gallant project. We believe those funds will be returned in full with interest, and County taxpayers are protected,” the statement read. “We were prepared for this action, and fully expect a positive outcome for our citizens.
Related: Panthers’ project bankruptcy filing means bad news for businesses
The county is one of 17 creditors listed in the bankruptcy filing, which is just the latest sign of upheaval on Mint Street. On May 4, Tepper Sports & Entertainment CEO Nick Kelly stepped down from his position. His departure came one day after a WBTV Investigation on Tepper’s public-private partnerships and their lack of progress.
On May 31, Charlotte FC coach Miguel Angel Ramirez was fired in his first year and during the team’s inaugural season.
Related: Elected leaders, Tepper’s team avoid question over Rock Hill deal collapse
“In recent weeks, GTRE has been confronted with various claims, some valid and some not, from vendors, contractors and other third parties, including York County, SC,” GTRE said in a press release. “GTRE is taking this action to ensure legitimate claims are processed as fairly and expeditiously as possible under a court-supervised process, and to achieve the project’s orderly and safe wind-down. GTRE intends to resolve its legitimate obligations.”
GTRE also announced that it has received a commitment for $20 million in financing from DT Sports Holding, LLC, subject to court approval, which will allow the Company to fund a process to address its legitimate creditor claims, as well as to preserve, protect and enhance the Rock Hill site for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Who is driving and where are questions WBTV is trying to get answers to since hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in both Carolinas are on the line.
The Panthers headquarters and practice facility in Rock Hill is by far the biggest example of a public-private partnership that hasn’t gone according to plan.
WBTV will continue to update you as more details come in.
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