EpiCentre Continuing Operations, Despite Developer's Finances


CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - A judge approved an agreement Wednesday that will allow EpiCentre to keep operating, despite its developer's financial problems.

Developer Afshin Ghazi owes nearly $90 million and has declared bankruptcy to hold off foreclosure proceedings on the uptown entertainment complex.

In federal bankruptcy court on Wednesday, a judge said for the next 90 days, Ghazi can continue using rent money from all of the EpiCentre's restaurants, bars and shops to keep the complex running. However, Ghazi will be on a strict budget and will have to get approval to spend additional money.

"We're fine, but I really don't have any comment, Ghazi said outside of the courtroom.

There's no guarantee of what will happen at the end of the 90-day period, but in the meantime, customers and tenants are going about their business.

"It's a nice place to come and have a good time," customer Menerd Grandison said.

"I'd have to say for most people, (it's) business as usual," Tim Sullivan, who runs catering at Jason's Deli, said.

Sullivan and others said they hope the 90-day period is enough time to get the EpiCentre on firmer financial footing.

Ghazi is also suing his banker over the terms of the loan, which he stopped paying in January. Both sides are expected to be back in court on that issue next month.

Previous Stories: July 22, 2010: EpiCentre Developer Files For Bankruptcy, Vows To Stay Open July 22, 2010: EpiCentre Developer Files Chapter 11 July 16, 2010: EpiCentre Threatened With Foreclosure