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Newly released financial records show trouble behind Panthers’ failed Rock Hill facility

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Newly released documents give a deeper look into the financials of billionaire David Tepper after his real estate company filed for bankruptcy earlier this week.

The action served as the final nail in the coffin for the proposed Carolina Panthers practice facility project in Rock Hill.

Court documents say Tepper’s company -- GT Real Estate Holdings -- spent $282 million on the now defunct facility and claim it would take another $500 million to finish the project.

Also listed in the 21-page document is the real estate company’s reasoning for the dispute that ultimately ended the build.

The documents show Rock Hill missed two deadlines to issue the bonds and despite both days passing, the documents say GTRE continued to invest in the project.

The documents also showed that eventually, in light of the inability or unwillingness of the city to obtain low-cost public financing, and the significant ongoing expenditures required to continue construction, the debtor suspended construction.

At the time construction stopped, GTRE’s account only had around $255K in it, according to the documents.

In the weeks that would follow, GTRE would issue a default warning and then a notice of termination.

On April 27, Tepper only had this to say when asked about the standoff between him and the city of Rock Hill.

“We respect the city of Rock Hill’s request not to have a back and forth in the public about it,” he said.

But two days later when Rock Hill leaders reached out to the billionaire owner, it wasn’t to strike a deal.

Court documents claim an attorney for the city alleged GTRE “failed to cooperate with the city in providing information and other assistance.”

That would have “enabled the city to issue bonds.”

The attorney also claimed the suspension work amounted to a default.

GTRE disagrees with the claims.

Since the project’s shutdown, GTRE said it has paid out $40 million worth of invoices. Some of that funding came from a $15.5 million parking lot outside the stadium.

Hundreds of supporting documents will be filed throughout the next couple of weeks.

A bankruptcy attorney with no ties to this case said this is still a faster process than lawsuits.

“It’s supposed to be much more efficient than a protracted adversarial lawsuit,” said John Woodman, bankruptcy attorney at Essex Richards.

York County is seeking $21 million back from GTRE. The court filing said the company isn’t aware of any agreement where it would have to pay back those funds.

(WATCH BELOW: Tepper on Rock Hill practice facility: ‘We released a statement already’)

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