Matt Drews, who has led Sarasota-based Michael Saunders & Co.’s commercial brokerage and management team for the past three-plus years, is leaving the company to join developer Casto Southeast Realty Services.
Drews, 44, will join Casto as it embarks on a number of regional projects, including the redevelopment of the Doctors Hospital property in Sarasota; a 50-acre property in Lakewood Ranch; and a $500 million, mixed-use site known as Midtown Tampa, where Casto will be developing and leasing about 240,000 square feet of retail space.
The company also is working on new developments in Daytona; Clemson, S.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Snellville, Ga.
Drews, a former New York Yankees’ first-round draft selection who also worked for UBS Financial Services and Stanford Financial Group following his baseball career, says a development career has long been an objective.
Drews’ father was involved in the development of several notable properties in Sarasota, including the Landings and the Plantation Golf & Country Club.
“I grew up around development, and I always felt it was something I wanted to do, it appeals to my creative side and think it’ll be a good fit for me,” Drews says.
He intends to start working at Casto early next month.
“Casto is a first-class organization, they treat everyone the right way,” Drews adds. “Most importantly, I want to be with companies that have great values and cultures, and Casto embodies that as does Michael Saunders. This is going to be a very tough place to leave.”
Brett Hutchens, Casto’s CEO, says the company was drawn to Drews because of his “great work ethic” and personality.
“He’s a wonderful person that we know will fit into the Casto culture,” Hutchens says.
He adds that Drews will be focused on a new company venture, Casto Net Lease, that will develop properties involving net lease transactions.
Michael Saunders, the residential brokerage company’s founder and CEO, says she, too, will miss Drews and holds Casto in “the highest regard.”
“He’s done an incredible job building our commercial presence not only in our three counties, but in Orlando as well,” Saunders says in a statement. “Although we are sorry to see him go, we are also very happy that he will be realizing his lifelong dream.”