LAKEWOOD RANCH — Prominent local real estate executive Brian Kennelly plans to leave his leadership role with Schroeder-Manatee Ranch at the end of September.
Kennelly, who has been president of LWR Commercial Realty for seven years, will take on a new executive role with The Starling Group, a Sarasota-based real estate development firm, according to a release. Kennelly worked with Starling prior to taking a position with SMR, which is the developer behind Lakewood Ranch, one of the largest master-planned communities on the Gulf Coast.
Kennelly, the release states, will have an ownership stake in Starling, and he will also facilitate ongoing commercial projects between SMR and Starling. The Starling Group President Fred Starling is excited about Kennelly's return to the company. “His excellent reputation with the region's commercial brokerage community and invaluable experience and knowledge gained at Lakewood Ranch will allow us to open new doors for construction, development and property management,” Starling says in the statement.
Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, meanwhile, will begin to search for Kennelly's replacement. Kennelly has helped bring in 4 million square feet of commercial space in Lakewood Ranch over the past seven years. Lakewood Ranch Main Street, which has become a central part of east Manatee County and a shopping and dining hub, is one of his biggest accomplishments. “I am privileged to have played a role in the development and future planning of what I consider the best mixed-use development in the state,” Kennelly says in the release.
SMR President and CEO Rex Jensen says he looks forward to continue to work with Kennelly, even at a different company. “Brian isn't leaving SMR as much as he is going to rejoin one of our best customers,” Jensen says in the statement. “To me, it's just an evolution of a long-standing relationship between three parties who've always worked well together. I'm hoping that we can soon announce the next Starling/Kennelly project on the Ranch.”