By JenMedia Campbell
If you live on the water in Riverview or another town in southeastern Hillsborough county, chances are you have met Vivi Lewis, a local expert in waterfront real estate. Making friends on Tampa Bay waterways since 1989, Vivi loves what she does. And it shows. Despite being a Tampa native who lives on the water herself, waterfront living wasn’t something given or passed down to Vivi. It was hard work, respect, and bonafide know-how that got her there.
Tampa native and “Italian cracker,” Vivi was born and raised in historical Ybor City. With looks like that of Clark Gable and a PhD in spaghetti and meatballs, her father was a proud, old-school Italian settling here with his folks from their motherland, Sicily. Her mother was a spunky red-head pistol known as Minnie Lee. A true “Florida cracker” she hailed from strawberry patches in nearby Plant City. It was a classic time when families dominated Ybor streets and corners as many were settlers starting life anew. Rugged brick roads led through old-time neighborhoods where quaint little cubby-holes were proudly called home. Small on house but big on love and values, Vivi, also known as her childhood nickname “Tootsie,” has sweet memories of the Ybor life. In time her homegrown knowledge would further bloom.
Growing up in Ybor, the waterfront certainly was no stranger. Just a mile from Palmetto Beach and Port of Tampa, one could find fresh hot deviled crabs, cigars, and docked ships on waterways that led to the bay. Whether or not her passion for waterfront life began here remains unknown, but soon enough Vivi would call the Alafia River home-sweet-home.
In the late eighties, while building a riverfront home and fine-tuning her boating skills, Vivi decided to specialize in the real estate area she knows best, the Tampa Bay waterways. It has been smooth sailing on the river of success ever since. Vivi has been making new friends since 1989.
Proudly and consistently adhering to the philosophy “customers always comes first,” Vivi has sold countless waterfront properties, reaching topnotch success.
The Mallard’s have had Vivi assist them buying and selling several properties over the past ten years. “We have found her to be very knowledgeable, trustworthy and dependable. Her integrity, attention to detail and determination in creating a satisfactory experience for all are unsurpassed. Vivi will be our real estate agent choice in the future when the need arises,” said Harvey Mallard.
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