YORK COUNTY, S.C. — A federal judge approved a bankruptcy settlement of about $100 million Friday over Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper’s failed plan to build a practice facility for his NFL team in South Carolina.
The deal will turn the land and the incomplete steel shell of what was supposed to have been the team’s new headquarters over to the city of Rock Hill. It’s estimated to be worth $20 million.
"Congratulations to everyone, we are at the finish line," Judge Owens said Thursday ahead of final approval. "Although it's a difficult ending, I hope everyone is pleased with themselves because it really is a great result."
Tepper’s real estate company GT Real Estate Holdings will pay York County, which provided sales tax revenue for road improvements, $21 million, and $60 million will be split among the contractors who worked on the project before it was abandoned earlier this year.
All sides agreed to drop their current lawsuits and not file any other claims as part of the deal approved Friday by federal bankruptcy court Judge Karen Owens.
In a statement earlier this month, York County officials said the receipt of the funds would be "in full and final satisfaction and discharge" of all claims York County had against the company, Tepper, and other related entities. York County was expected to withdraw any allegations that any Tepper-linked party involved in its suit violated the Pennies for Progress statute or C-Fund statute, or engaged in any other wrongdoing regarding the payment.
However, a separate investigation by the York County Sheriff's Office is expected to continue despite the settlement agreement.
“This agreement was reached with county government and not the Sheriff’s Office and does nothing to affect the current investigation into the possible misuse of public funds," York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said Thursday in a releases statement.
Tolson's office announced on Dec. 1 that his deputies would investigate the circumstances regarding the transfer and use of public money by GT Real Estate and the Panthers over the construction of the failed training headquarters, chiefly to determine if laws were broken in the process.
Tepper, a hedge fund manager who is one of the NFL’s wealthiest owners, and the Panthers announced plans for an $800 million practice facility, team offices, sports medicine complex, hotels and entertainment near Rock Hill in 2019.