Staff report

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — The city of Rock Hill and the real estate company owned by Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper have tentatively agreed to a bankruptcy deal that would pay the city $20 million and give it control of the unfinished 240-achre site, just off of Interstate 77 and south of Cherry Road.

The deal between the city and GT Real Estate, pending the approval of a judge later this month, would allow Rock Hill to take control of the property, which could allow it to find a buyer and have more say in how the site is developed.

It also would allow the city to recoup the money in invested in the project that many thought would have a huge impact on Rock Hill, including Winthrop University.

However, last week, the York County Sheriff’s Office, said in a statement, it plans to investigate the transfer of and use of public money by Tepper and GT Real Estate, which could impact the bankruptcy deal.

Regardless the final outcome, as the saga nears an end, Rock Hill residents and business owners are still displeased the Panthers won’t be moving their headquarters to the city.

“I’m pretty disappointed to see they pulled out of building it. I was interested to see what kind of jobs it would bring to the area and what kind of events, other than the Panthers (practices), that they would host,” said Anabella Ortiz, a Rock Hill resident.

“Business owners invested a lot of money in new projects and trying to expand their intellectual property and trying to expand their facilities and upgrade, just with the anticipation of having new clientele,” said Chris Posey, with the Dust Off Brewing Co. in Rock Hill.

“I think that there is some opportunity that would have been there, that is no longer going to be there,” said J.P. McFadden, owner of McFadden’s Mens Shop on Main Street.

However, McFadden said he didn’t think losing the Panthers facility would “negatively affect” his business.

* Logan Elrod contributed to this report.