Real estate firm Tepper accuses Rock Hill, York Co of delaying bankruptcy proceedings for failed Panthers project
ROCK HILL, SC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Wednesday marks another turning point in the Rock Hill-Carolina Panthers training facility saga with David Tepper’s real estate company now accusing Rock Hill and York County of dragging out the legal battle , even after an agreement has been offered .
On Wednesday morning September 14, David Tepper’s real estate company GT Real Estate shared the latest developments with Queen City News. GT Real Estate recently filed an “amended plan of reorganization”.
Their initial plan was filed last month.
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The initial plan reportedly ultimately involved paying back the $80 million invested in the project. This new filing, according to the attorney representing the company, is an attempt to speed up the process.
As Queen City News reported, this has all been playing out for months. Since Tepper Sports and Entertainment shut down the project in June, the company initially claimed that Rock Hill failed to live up to its end of the bond agreement, which Rock Hill denied.
This eventually led to the complete halt of the project, which is partially built.
“The Panthers intended to complete the project, but without the money I just couldn’t see it happening. GTRE couldn’t see that happening, so here we are,” said York County Councilor William Bump Roddey.
“Do you think the city has any responsibility for stopping this project?” Queen City News asked Roddey.
“I would say. Yes,” he said.
Tepper’s GT Real Estate has since offered a new deal to repay all money to creditors, contractors, York County and the City of Rock Hill.
Last week, the City of Rock Hill said it wanted it all before a jury.
In a statement, GT Real Estate said:
GTRE today filed an amended reorganization plan to respond to stakeholder feedback to the original plan filed in August. GTRE’s original reorganization plan would have paved the way for all creditors, including the city and county, to receive generous payments on an accelerated basis.
Trade creditors have engaged constructively with GTRE, and their treatment under the amended plan of reorganization remains unchanged.
Unfortunately, the city and county instead chose to pursue a flawed litigation strategy, making exorbitant and unreasonable demands far beyond their rights.
Under the amended plan of reorganization, the city and county are treated the same in accordance with their rights under the bankruptcy code and without the concessions that had previously been granted.
These changes are intended to prevent the city and county from further undermining the confirmation process and delaying payment of the $60.5 million that has been set aside to pay trade creditors.
GT Real Estate
“What do you think of these claims? Queen City News asked Roddey.
“We [the country] had no part in the deal with the town of Rock Hill and the Carolina Panthers. Ultimately it was the part of the deal that fell through that caused the domino effect for the project to be put on hold and eventually removed from Panthers intentions so we couldn’t have been part of a delayed reaction because we did what we were supposed to approve the funding mechanism and it was up to the City of Rock Hill to sort it out with GTRE,” he said.
GTRE also said that this could ultimately impact their money back plan for the project. Queen City News has contacted the county and the city to get their response to the new filing.
Statement from the Town of Rock Hill:
The City has no comment to make on these legal matters, other than to note generally that City Council looks forward to the day when judgment will be rendered on the facts that will be presented to the court.
Town of Rock Hill
York County Statement:
Late Tuesday, September 13e, GT Real Estate LLC has filed an amended plan of reorganization with the Delaware bankruptcy court. The county is still reviewing the amended plan.
However, it is obvious that the altered plan is another example of broken promises by these Tepper entities. To date, the debtor, in its public pleadings, and others have repeatedly assured that the $21 million misappropriated of York County taxpayers’ money would be repaid.
York County is disappointed that these parties again appear to be going back on their word. To be clear, the county engaged in no unreasonable conduct towards the debtor.
Instead, the county sought only reasonable compensation for its real and legitimate claims and the damages that GT Real Estate and other Tepper entities left in their wake. The county will pursue its claims and aggressively protect its interests and the interests of its citizens and taxpayers.
- June 2, 2022: Tepper’s real estate company, GTRE, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
- June 10, 2022: York County announces it is suing Tepper for at least $21 million for embezzlement
- August 11, 2022: GTRE proposes to pay more than $82 million to creditors, including $60.5 million to contractors and subcontractors
- September 7, 2022: The City of Rock Hill has filed a lawsuit, demanding that the real estate company’s bankruptcy proceedings be argued in front of a jury
- September 14, 2022: The company filed an amended plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware accusing the city and county of dragging out the process
Despite a new filing by GT Real Estate, Roddey said he doesn’t expect the situation to be resolved for years.
“The best case scenario for the ratepayers of York County is for us to be cured of our initial investment in the Mount Gallant Project infrastructure. We still have to meet this obligation for our taxpayers and our constituents. Those funds were pledged to York County to do this project, ultimately it wasn’t done by the Panthers and that’s why we’re fighting to get back what we put into it because it’s taxpayer funds,” Roddey said.