Castagna Realty Co. in Manhasset has brought real estate industry veteran Russell Matthews aboard as president and chief executive officer.
Matthews succeeds John Gutleber, who died Sept. 7 after 30 years with the company.
Matthews joined 96-year-old Castagna Realty from the Garden City-based Albanese Organization, where he was executive vice president and principal. Matthews’ uncles, Vincent Albanese and Anthony Albanese, founded the firm in 1949, and Matthews joined the family business more than 20 years ago.
In his most recent role with the Albanese Organization, Matthews was responsible for leading the company’s asset management function, including long-term strategic financial planning and performance monitoring of real estate assets. Prior to that role, he was responsible for the firm’s development, management and leasing activities on Long Island, with a focus on the revitalization of Garden City’s central business district.
Matthews is no stranger to Castagna Realty. He was appointed in 1995 to serve on the Village of Garden City’s business planning coalition to address the decline of the vital Franklin Avenue corridor. The village’s $4 million Streetscape Beautification Plan came out of this effort, leading to the redevelopment of more than 3 million square feet of office and retail space. In concert with the village’s efforts, Matthews spearheaded the Albanese Organization’s partnership with Castagna Realty to acquire and redevelop some of the most prominent buildings along Franklin Avenue, including 1001 Franklin Ave., Long Island’s first LEED certified commercial office building.
Today, the Albanese Organization and Castagna Realty continue to partner on various projects, including the proposed mixed-use Syosset Park project, which aims to redevelop 90 acres in Syosset.
“Our long-standing partnership with the Albanese family has always been one based on mutual respect and trust, and Russell Matthews has been an integral part of that collaboration,” Frank Castagna, principal of Castagna Realty, said in a statement. “A pillar of both the business and philanthropic communities, as John Gutleber was so notably, Russell has the professional and personal qualities necessary to help steer our company into the future. He understands the unique, entrepreneurial vision of a family-owned business, and we are proud to welcome him into our organization.”
Matthews made the move with the blessing of the Albanese Organization.
“There is no other businessman and real estate organization that I admire more than Frank Castagna and his team at Castagna Realty,” Russell Albanese, chairman of the Albanese Organization, said in a statement. “Frank’s calling of Russell Matthews to succeed John Gutleber as president and CEO is a true honor for Russell and all of us at the Albanese Organization. While we will dearly miss Russell at AO, our long-standing partnership with Castagna has just become stronger.”
Castagna Realty’s properties on Long Island include Americana Manhasset, the Wheatley Plaza shopping center in Greenvale, the new Dealertrack headquarters in North Hills and office buildings in Garden City.