ROCK HILL, S.C. — South Carolina’s Governor Henry McMaster is speaking out after GT Real Estate listed the site of the failed Rock Hill Panthers project for sale, saying "major real estate companies" have expressed interest in the 245-acre site just off of I-77.
The property was originally intended to become a new training facility and team headquarters for the Carolina Panthers, an NFL team owned by David Tepper. However, after disagreements with the City of Rock Hill and York County, Tepper's GT Real Estate pulled out of the project and filed for bankruptcy.
Real estate firm Colliers listed the 245-acre property and nearly 6,000-square-foot unfinished building on it for sale under the name Rock Hill Overlook, marketing it as a mixed-use development.
Governor McMaster told WCNC Charlotte that some companies have already expressed interest in the site, which will soon have its own, new interchange from I-77.
"We know of someone people who are interested in buying the property or portions of it. I understand we have major real estate companies involved already," McMaster said.
Part of the original agreement with the Carolina Panthers included building a new interchange leading from I-77 to the property in Rock Hill. Even though the project failed, the state did pay for the interchange. The listing for the site said the interchange will be completed in May 2023. McMaster said that makes the property more marketable.
“We have a new interchange being built there. The property is excellent for development. It’s in an absolutely perfect place," McMaster said. "I think in the end we’re going to be just fine. We hate to have missed this opportunity, for whatever reason.”
Governor Henry McMaster told WCNC Charlotte that he hasn’t spoken to David Tepper since he pulled out of the project.
Congressman Ralph Norman represents the area and is also a real estate developer. He said the property has a lot to offer, but inflation may make it harder to sell.
“It’s a factor because everybody is leveraged. You borrow money when you build a project, particularly like that," Norman said.
Still, Norman believes this site, which some residents have started calling an eyesore because it's unfinished, will one day be a sprawling, successful development.
Turning lemons into lemonade, as the city of Rock Hill and York County continue their legal battles with David Tepper’s GT Real Estate.
“Hindsight we probably would have driven pathway to make sure [Tepper] couldn’t do this. But it is what it is – we still have great land, great access and great visibility," Norman said.
GT Real Estate filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Initially, the company submitted a bankruptcy settlement saying the City of Rock Hill would receive at least $20 million from the sale of the site, but because of ongoing disagreements, it later revoked that settlement.