Vision for prime Rock Hill site taking shape after Panthers HQ fiasco

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The city of Rock Hill lost the Carolina Panthers as the driver of a potential $2 billion development when David Tepper scrapped his planned team headquarters there. But it gained control of a key corridor that could still transform the area’s development trajectory.

When the Tepper-led GT Real Estate Holdings LLC had its Chapter 11 plan approved by the bankruptcy court in Delaware, one key element of the settlement agreement handed the 245-acre headquarters site to the city of Rock Hill.

During the bankruptcy process, Colliers International was hired by GT Real Estate’s restructuring group to market the site for sale. The Colliers team has now started working with the city on the effort.

“Obviously the Panthers have the brand name, but I think they’ve been given — for lack of a better term — a little bit of a gift to rebrand the entire 245-acre site to something that is really not just geared toward one use or one entity, but something that is going to benefit Rock Hill and its population base,” said Rob Speir, Colliers senior director. “I thought the Panthers thing was more of a tourist kind of a destination, where I think this will actually be something Rock Hill can make as an identity.”

The Colliers’ team consists of Speir, executive managing director Bryan Johnson and managing director Lawrence Shaw. During the bankruptcy process, Colliers worked with ColeJenest & Stone to create potential site plans to showcase development options. Those plans included uses such as office, apartments, townhomes, research and development, recreation and hospitality.

Under the city’s direction, the strategy is shifting, the Colliers team told the Charlotte Business Journal. The city would like to see the site host a range of uses, including an employment center and a town center-like environment similar to Kingsley in Fort Mill.

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