The bankruptcy process around the canceled Carolina Panthers practice facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina, is potentially a step closer to its conclusion.
In a press release Thursday, GT Real Estate Holdings LLC (GTRE) announced its bankruptcy reorganization plan.
GTRE, a company owned by Panthers and Charlotte Football Club owner David Tepper, is in bankruptcy court in the District of Delaware concerning the practice facility project.
The project, which remains incomplete, came to a halt in March before being canceled in April, according to Spectrum News 1’s previous reporting and announcements from the involved parties. Those parties include companies related to Tepper and then the City of Rock Hill and York County.
Originally, the site was going to be the home of the Panthers’ practice facility and other offices, with plans to turn it into a regional tourism attraction for sports fans.
However, the project was put on hold over financing concerns and accusations from many of those involved over unmet financial obligations and expectations. Eventually, Tepper’s representatives announced the termination of the project.
Since then, bankruptcy court proceedings have continued and took a new turn on Thursday.
In the press release, GTRE announced it would set aside $82 million to “resolve allowed claims.”
Those claims include $60.5 million for contractors and other workers on the project and $21.165 million for York County’s project contributions. The press release also says it could distribute “$20 million or more from the available net proceeds (after cleanup and senior claims) of the sale of real property to make payments to the City of Rock Hill.”
The proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan will go before the District of Delaware court in October and is subject to approval from the involved parties.
“This Plan reflects GTRE’s promise to expeditiously resolve all claims and make payments to its creditors, including to York County and the City of Rock Hill. GTRE now has a clear path to emerge from bankruptcy made possible by substantial commitments from DT Sports Holding, which has made available to GTRE more than $82 million in cash in an effort to bring this process to an orderly and equitable conclusion. GTRE believes that the Plan is in the best interests of its creditors and anticipates that a hearing to consider approval of the Plan will occur in October of this year,” the press release states.
It is unclear what impact the proposed plan will have on other legal fights facing companies involved in the deal.
In June, York County filed a lawsuit against the city of Rock Hill and companies it said represented Tepper. In the lawsuit, the county alleges the defendants owe county taxpayers.
“The Tepper Defendants directed the misappropriation of $21 million of statutorily restricted, public funds from their stated purpose, the expansion of a roadway in York County, and improperly utilized these funds on their failed vanity project, the Carolina Panthers’ headquarters and practice facility. Rather than cover the ballooning project budget themselves, the Tepper Defendants took money from York County and its taxpayers. Ultimately, the City of Rock Hill failed to issue the required bonds, the development project collapsed, and the City and the Tepper Defendants were left blaming each other for the failure. Both the City and the Tepper Defendants have harmed York County and its taxpayers, and the County should be made whole,” the lawsuit states.
GTRE’s bankruptcy reorganization plan, if approved, would reimburse York County with $21.165 million, which the press release stated would include interest.
Spectrum News 1 has reached out to the city of Rock Hill and York County for comment on the bankruptcy reorganization plan’s announcement. Rock Hill declined to comment.