David Tepper’s real estate company files for bankruptcy at Panthers training facility
CHARLOTTE — The real estate company run by Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has filed for bankruptcy, Channel 9 has confirmed.
GT Real Estate Holdings said bankruptcy was filed in connection with the failed practice facility project in Rock Hill.
The filing comes after the termination and termination of the project’s agreement with the City of Rock Hill, announced by GTRE in April.
Construction on the training center halted earlier this year after Tepper Sports said the city failed to pay for public infrastructure.
GT Real Estate Holdings issued the following statement on the bankruptcy filing:
“Over the past few weeks, GTRE has faced a variety of claims, some valid and some not, from suppliers, contractors and other third parties, including York County, SC. GTRE is taking this step to ensure that legitimate claims are dealt with as fairly and expeditiously as possible in a court-supervised process, and to bring about the orderly and safe termination of the project. GTRE intends to resolve its legitimate obligations.
This filing does not affect Tepper Sports, the Panthers or Charlotte FC, the real estate company said. Bankruptcy filings list 17 claims ranging from the leading construction company seeking $27 million to a Myers Park interior designer seeking $1,600.
A bankruptcy lawyer not associated with the case told Channel 9 that the public should expect the site of the now defunct practice facility to be resolved more quickly following this deposit.
“It’s a process that I think will help speed up and whatever the project, ownership will be, you know, in the future,” John Woodman said. “It will help that process get started at least much sooner rather than later.”
It’s unclear at this point what will happen to the half-built practice facility.
York County filed a $21 million claim with Tepper’s company. A county spokesperson said it was for improvements to Mount Gallant Road. Court documents say Tepper’s company disputes the claim.
A York County spokesperson shared the following statement with Channel 9:
“On Wednesday, GT Real Estate Holdings LLC, (GTRE) filed for bankruptcy protection. GTRE is the entity managing the acquisition and construction of the Carolina Panthers’ headquarters and training facilities in the York County on behalf of the Carolina Panthers organization and David Tepper.
“The York County government is listed as one of the creditors in the bankruptcy action. GTRE has entered into an agreement with York County to improve a section of Mt. Gallant Road, which borders the headquarters/practice center property. York County contributed $21 million to the Mount Gallant project. We believe these funds will be fully repaid with interest and the taxpayers of the county are protected. We were prepared for this action and fully expect a positive result for our fellow citizens.
Tepper, who has made billions in hedge funds, is the richest owner in the NFL. He has invested more than $175 million in the facility, which is located about 25 miles south of the current downtown stadium and team headquarters in Charlotte.
GTRE told The Associated Press in a statement late Wednesday night that it had begun a court-directed financial restructuring process in Delaware to effect an orderly liquidation of the project.
GTRE also announced that it has received a $20 million funding commitment from DT Sports Holding, LLC, subject to court approval, which will allow the company to fund a process to address its legitimate claims from creditors, as well only to preserve, protect and enhance the Rock Hill site for the benefit of all stakeholders.
The city of Rock Hill does not plan to release a statement until it has had a chance to review the bankruptcy filing on Thursday, a city spokesperson said.
The bankruptcy ends a bitter public disagreement between Tepper and the town of Rock Hill.
“Everyone had high hopes for the Carolina Panthers to come here,” Rock Hill Mayor Pro Tem Derrick Lindsay said.
In the meantime, Rock Hill residents are wondering exactly how it got there.
“It’s just a billionaire’s ploy to avoid paying people,” said Charlie Ruffalo, owner of Sub Station II.
Ruffalo put this message on his billboard, “The Tepper Sub: We quit halfway.”
Ruffalo said the ordeal soured his opinion of the Panthers.
“I don’t want anything to do with them right now, and I will continue to laugh at the absurdity of this situation.”
Tepper’s company said it negotiated with the city for more than a year, warning them in March that they had 30 days or the Panthers would retire. They said in a statement in April that it was “unfortunate that some have recently decided to carry out a misguided and destructive public relations campaign to cover up their failures”.
Rock Hill officials responded to the announcement, saying the Panthers announcement was “misleading and misleading” and that they embraced the Panthers, hosted their headquarters in South Carolina and “did everything to make this happen.” project a success and have not defaulted on any of our obligations.”
“It was and still is our intention to continue to bargain in good faith while protecting the interests of our ratepayers,” the town of Rock Hill said. “In fact, over the past few weeks we’ve attempted to meet the Panthers numerous times, to no avail.”
The city also claimed that it had fulfilled all of the obligations required under the agreement, but that it could not provide the Panthers with unlimited resources and had to protect taxpayers.
The Panthers headquarters and training center were scheduled to be completed in 2023.
It’s unclear if Tepper will attempt to start another firm in the future, and if so, where that will be.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(WATCH BELOW: SC Gov. McMaster expresses disappointment at Panthers’ Rock Hill practice facility plans halted)
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