WIMAUMA, Fla. — Hillsborough County is seeking input from the public on plans to improve the growing downtown in Wimauma.
You’ll find authentic Mexican street tacos at Mr. G Taqueria.
“This is a dream come true, you know,” said owner Giovani Espinoza. “Steak tacos. We have Al Pastor. We have Barbacoa“
But surprisingly, at the taco truck launched by Espinoza and his wife, cheeseburgers are the star. “I mean, it’s funny — it’s weird to say. ‘Hey, what’s the special at the taqueria?’ ‘The Mister G burger.’”
His food truck is often parked in and around downtown Wimauma — a downtown looking to transform and become even better for businesses, community members, and visitors as Wimauma grows.
“For me, I have about 20-something years living in Wimauma, and I see, you know, it’s different now,” said Espinoza. “Wimauma is going to be growing and growing and growing real quickly.”
John Patrick, the director of Hillsborough County’s Community & Infrastructure Planning, said the growth is more than noticeable — it’s measurable.
“It was an agricultural town, and since then, it has been growing and growing, and in the past two decades, the population has almost doubled — more than doubled in that area,” he said.
Patrick said that growth is driving the desire to revitalize Wimauma’s downtown.
According to the Wimauma Community Development Corporation’s Wimauma Now! campaign website, a variety of strategies will be used to revitalize the downtown district:
- Enhance appearance
- Promote business growth
- Preserving historical character and architectural themes
- Pedestrian-friendly developments
- Zoning standards and design guidelines
- Street trees and landscaping
- Bike paths
- Greenway system links
- Traffic safety
According to Patrick several ideas are already in the works: a new “low pressure” sewage system that’s better for businesses, a possible public library, fresh asphalt for downtown roads, and a focus to keep housing affordable as those improvements happen.
But, that’s just the start, and the county and its partners, which include the development corporation and Enterprising Latinas, are looking for the public’s ideas.
“We are looking at what other things can be done to revitalize Wimauma,” Patrick said.
To that end, the county will be at Wimauma Elementary Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to host a meeting in both English and Spanish to get feedback from the community.
“What comes first? What is most important that they want now? And what could wait?” Patrick said.
To Espinoza, the idea of downtown improvements is welcome news. His dream is already flourishing — thanks in part to Wimauma’s growth — and he hopes downtown revitalization will help other dreams come true too.
To read more about the revitalization effort, click here.
To figure out when and where you can find Mr. G Taqueria, click here.