Rock Hill could get $20M settlement for failed Panthers project, court records show

Rock Hill could get $20 million for the failed Panthers practice facility if a judge approves the settlement between the city and David Tepper’s real estate company.

An area along Eden Terrace at Interstate 77 once promised restaurants, apartments and hotels as part of the Carolina Panthers team headquarters. But for the last several months, neighbors like Tyisha Simpson have wondered what will come of the now failed project. Her boutique sits just blocks away from the construction site, and the hope of attracting new customers is quickly fading.

“I was kind of looking forward to it because they would bring more life to the city, more tourism, it would bring a lot more money to the city,” Simpson said.

RELATED: Report: York County wants return on its investment into failed Panthers facility

The City of Rock Hill and GT Real Estate -- Panthers owner David Tepper’s company -- have each pointed fingers for the project’s ending. Court documents show the two agreed on a $20 million settlement, which would require each to drop lawsuits against the other.

An avid Panthers fan, Garen Black says he’s disappointed to see the sour business deal play out.

“There’s just so many folks here and there’s a lot of enthusiasm, I just think it’s so sad that things could have not worked out better,” Black said.

In June, GT Real Estate filed for bankruptcy. Since then, city and county officials have claimed they’re owed millions of dollars.

If approved, the settlement would only pay back a fraction of the city’s money, leaving taxpayers like Todd Price to foot the massive bill.

“Billionaires playing with money, doing what they want and if it doesn’t work out, then they take their ball and go home, leaving the rest of us to pick up the pieces,” Price said.

RELATED: Rock Hill files complaint against Tepper-led real estate entity in bankruptcy court

A project that set out to unite the Carolinas over their pro football team has left some feeling more divided. But Simpson is hopeful something good will come from all of this.

“I hope it brings some kind of positivity to Rock Hill,” she said. “Something that the whole city could use.”

York County is not included in the settlement. County officials estimate they’re owed at least $80 million from the project.

Meanwhile, in a statement to Channel 9, the City of Rock Hill said, “The City of Rock Hill is confident this matter will be appropriately handled in the Court. Accordingly, at this time we will refrain from any discussion or comment pending plan confirmation.”

GT Real Estate declined to comment.

A confirmation hearing on the proposal is set for Wednesday.


(WATCH BELOW: Report: York County wants return on its investment into failed Panthers facility)