History of Tega Cay
In 1904 electricity first flowed from the old Catawba River in York County. The construction of the dam and creation of Lake Wylie led to the birth of Tega Cay, located on a peninsula on the east side of the lake.
The idea of Tega Cay began with The Ervin Company purchasing the peninsula from Crescent Land Development Corp. in 1970. After a mayhem camping trip to the beach with his family, an officer of the company had a vision of a recreational community where one could live as though on vacation all year. The name “Tega Cay” means “beautiful peninsula” in an obscure Polynesian language. Many streets were named for islands such as Molokai, Palmyra, Mai Kai and Marquesas. The original homes were built with mostly Polynesian-style rooflines.
Original homeowners in Tega Cay were provided with many services such as lawn care and daycare for a minimal HOA fee. Prospective homeowners were driven by jeep to view the home sites available. And of course, the waterfront lots with the most extraordinary lake views were the first sold. A riverboat, the Kontiki, was constructed to tour prospects and business groups around the peninsula by water. Mysteriously, the Kontiki caught fire and sank into Lake Wylie after some of the first local wives found out their husbands were gambling and drinking on the boat after sunset.
Unfortunately, the $15- $35 HOA fee originally charged was not enough to support the services promised and the developer was forced into bankruptcy. At that time a purchase was negotiated between the bank and the new owner, Tega Cay Associates. Tega Cay residents rallied with the new owners and in 1982, Tega Cay became a city with it’s own tax base. This occasion is celebrated every year on the 4th of July with a land parade, boat parade, Tega Cay birthday celebration, ski show, ceremony and extraordinary fireworks show.
In 1999 the Newland Corporation purchased the undeveloped property in Tega Cay. Newland began developing the remaining 550 acres. This development, called Lakeshore, includes newer homes, a brand new clubhouse, and pool and recreation center. Also, an additional 9 holes were added to the golf course along with an events pavilion. Walking trails are provided and the playground equipment has been recently updated.
Since 2000, the City of Tega Cay has annexed areas beyond the peninsula which now include commercial districts along Highway 160. In 2016, city leaders approved plans for a massive sports and entertainment complex. Within an area of more than 78 acres, plans include a two-level sports facility, 14-screen theater complex, 150-room hotel and four-level parking garage. A park, medical and professional offices, retail and residential uses will be included, too. The sports complex will replace a salvage yard. It will have eight basketball courts, four multipurpose fields, indoor and outdoor tennis, and Olympic size and resort-style pool, bowling and a 35,000-square-foot fitness center.