Brian Kennelly, president of LWR Commercial Realty, will be leaving Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (SMR) at the end of September, after a successful seven year career.
Kennelly has accepted a position with The Starling Group, where he worked prior to coming to SMR. The move will allow him an ownership interest in The Starling Group, and will facilitate the ongoing commercial partnership SMR and Starling have had over the past 16 years, which has included eight projects.
Kennelly has been instrumental in bringing 4 million square feet of commercial space – worth more than $1 billion – to the Ranch, with one of the lowest vacancy rates (8 percent) in the region.
“Lakewood Ranch has led the way out of a difficult economy with commercial construction,” Kennelly said, pointing to IRISS’s light manufacturing facility, three apartment facilities (Lost Creek, Venue and Creekside), senior housing at Windsor’s Reflections Memory Care and an adjacent planned independent living facility, and the 25,000-square foot, two-story Intercoastal Medical Group building now under construction with The Starling Group at the corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Rangeland Parkway.
He is especially proud of the growth of Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street, which has become the focal point of the community for shopping, dining, casual gatherings and events.
“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 said.
Kennelly’s presence will be missed at SMR headquarters, but his departure will be tempered by the ongoing relationship between SMR and The Starling Group.
“Brian isn’t leaving SMR as much as he is going to rejoin one of our best customers,” said SMR President and CEO Rex Jensen. “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.”
For his part, Fred Starling, president of The Starling Group, is obviously pleased and excited about Kennelly’s return. “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 said.
I the meantime, SMR has begun the search to fill the void that will be left by Kennelly’s departure.