Apopka leaders hold special public meeting on possible Camp Wewa purchase

Mayor says developer wants to buy the land to build homes

APOPKA, Fla. – Apopka city leaders held a special meeting to hear from the community on possibly buying Camp Wewa.

The YMCA of Central Florida has owned the 70-acre facility since 1947. It sits on three lakes and has several amenities, including a pool, climbing wall and an archery range.

Mayor Bryan Nelson said the YMCA told him last month due to financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA is selling the land and a developer is interested in building homes on the property.

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Nelson said the YMCA estimates the property is worth $5 million.

“Five million is a lot of money and we sure weren’t anticipating buying a park for $5 million but it’s something, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Nelson said.

City leaders unanimously voted during the city council meeting on Wednesday to apply for a $1 million state grant to help cover purchasing and operation costs.

Nelson said the city is also crunching the numbers to come up with the funds, including selling two pieces of city owned land on Harmon Road. He said the city is also hosting a block party fundraiser next weekend.

“So hopefully we can figure out a way to sell some land and move something around and get some grants and come up with the proper funding,” Nelson said.

The city conducted a survey to get the community’s thoughts on buying Camp Wewa. Nelson said they received 5,500 responses.

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!