open every day 24/7


We seek residential and commercial properties that present opportunities to add value:

  • Lease vacant units and seek a stabilized cash-on-cash return
  • Invest capital in income-producing properties to address deferred maintenance/capital projects
  • Develop in the right locations in the right markets
  • Acquire completed real estate assets and re-brand or re-position them in the market.

Our Services

We purchase real estate assets:





Who We Are

Jake Geleerd
President and CEO and Co-Founder of Tortoise Properties

Jake Geleerd continues to build upon his 30-plus year legacy and emerging manager in residential and commercial real estate as an owner, operator and developer.

He serves as a Board Member and on the Chairman’s Council of the Palm Beach Country Business Development Board (BDB), Chief Executives Organization ( and Boulder Investment Group. He incoming Chairman of the Board of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in Chicago and a member in Palm Beach, as well as Chairman of the Board of the YPO Golf Network.

Jake served as CEO of Rogers Centre/SkyDome in Toronto, the home of MLB Blue Jays and the second home to the NFL Buffalo Bills. Jake was President of Ocean Tomo, a global IP merchant banc and a director at Clark Hill.

A University of Illinois Gies School of Business graduate, Geleerd began his career in the real investment industry in the 1990s at Sam Zell’s Equity Group, a private equity firm whose founder Sam Zell was a pioneer in real estate investment trusts. While there Geleerd underwrote and acquired significant assets and portfolios and then took them public as EOP, ELP and EQR. As a Zell disciple, Jake has embraced and mastered many of Zell’s best practices including the strategic and analytical pursuit of investing in the right assets in the right markets at the right times.

An avid golfer, Jake was a golf pro at Club Med and rose to Chairman of the “Best Ball Club” that presents golf events in Chicago, Phoenix, Palm Beach and Detroit. Jake has many wins including his win at the YPO Q Cup win at Querencia, Cabo, the Walter Cup Championship at Cherry Hill, and the HAGAF CUP VI at Pine Valley.

He is a founder and organizer of the Guy Geleerd Memorial Golf Invitational, created in memory of his dad, that over its 28 years and going of competition raised more than $500,000 toward lung cancer research at the University of Chicago and the V-Foundation for Cancer Research and a friend to the American Cancer Society.

Kelly A. Brannen
Chairman and Co-Founder of Tortoise Properties

Kelly Brannen formed Tortoise Properties along with Jake Geleerd in late 2017 to focus on the commercial and multi-family residential markets in South Florida, now fast becoming the “Wall Street of the South.” He first began as a silent partner providing the commercial and residential real estate family office with equity, and as of January 1, 2022 became an active member of the company. Since its inception, Tortoise Properties has invested $70 million, purchasing commercial office buildings that are now fully leased and is currently developing a high-end apartment building in West Palm Beach.

Prior to co-founding Tortoise Properties, Brannen had a 35-year long career at Niacet corporation, a business specializing in food, animal feed and pharma intermediates. He along with family members grew the business into a market leader in all areas in which it participated. Starting with only one factory based in Niagara Falls, the company grew by acquiring several other factories in both the Netherlands and Columbia to establish an international footprint and achieve the best producer economics for their products in the world. The company had a global sales force selling in almost every market in the world.

In 2017 the family sold the business to SK Capital, a private equity group based in New York City. All family members exited the business except for Brannen. He stayed on but reduced his ownership. During this time, he and his leadership team grew the business five-fold in four-and-a-half years. Then in 2021, both SK Capital and Brannen sold their interests to Kerry Group out of Ireland for $1.015 billion.

With the initial sale to SK Capital in 2017, Brannen took a portion of the proceeds to found and operate Tortoise Properties along with Jake Geleerd. In 2022, with his retirement from Niacet, Brannen has dedicated his time and additional capital to focus on growing Tortoise Properties to the preeminent real estate developer in the South Florida market.

In addition to his business activities, Brannen has always been committed to the communities in which he lived. Spending his free time supporting charity and business groups, he chaired or served in leadership roles in various industry groups, including The Niagara Business Alliance (Chairman), The Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce (Chairman), The American Chemistry Council (Leadership Committee), Multiple Sclerosis Dinner In NYC (Co-Chair), Country Club of Buffalo Board of Governors (Secretary), Power for Economic Prosperity (Chairman), and Hydropower Relicensing Consensus Committee (Chairman of Low-Cost Power subcommittee).
He and his family live in Palm Beach County where Tortoise Properties is headquartered.

Brannen earned a B.A. in Chemistry St. Anselm College (1986) and an MBA in Finance from the University of Rochester, Simon School of Business (1995).

He and his family live in Palm Beach County where Tortoise Properties is headquartered.

Clayton Idle
Managing Director

As Managing Director of Tortoise Properties, Clayton Idle focuses on identifying new commercial and residential real estate investment properties, providing office tenant representation for sale and lease, and driving capital initiatives for Tortoise Properties. A South Florida native with a B.S. in Hospitality Administration and Management from Florida State University, Idle is well-established in the South Florida business and real estate communities and has a comprehensive sense of the market, property and business owners, lenders and more.

Idle has served as a board member of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County since 2017 and board member of the South Florida Manufacturing Association (SFMA) since 2019. He is an active member of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, serving as a BDB Chairman’s Council Member – Advisory Board Member since 2012, a Chairman’s Council Member since 2021 and a graduate from Leadership Broward Class 29 in 2011.

Prior to joining Tortoise Properties, Idle ran the operations for and drove expansion of South Florida Business & Wealth (SFBW), a Fort Lauderdale-based media company that serviced the tri-county market (Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach Counties) catering to senior executives and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries and their business needs. Daily with his signature contagious enthusiasm, Idle directed an expansive portfolio of live and online events and interviews. He also led the SFBW sales and marketing teams, setting and regularly exceeding benchmarks and goals.
Prior to SFBW, Idle successfully built his career in hospitality marketing, beginning as Regional Manager of Corporate Development for the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium.

He then assumed the role of Director of Corporate Partnerships for The Honda Classic, a PGA TOUR event, which involved strategically partnering with companies to help grow their businesses by utilizing the event’s premier hospitality, marketing, on-site exposure and advertising options.

Idle started his career in real estate at Riverside Bank in as a Site Acquisition Director acquiring properties all over the state of Florida for future bank branch development. He also was active in commercial and consumer lending at the bank when he served as Relationship Manager for the bank.

In addition to his business activities, Idle has served as a board member of the Jupiter Children’s Foundation since 2008 and was recognized as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) “Man of the Year” in 2019 and then served as 2020 Man and Women of the Year Campaign Co-Chair and now as LLS South Florida Leadership Team Member. He has been a CEO Builder for Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County since 2017, and a Honda Classic PGA TOUR event Ambassador since 2015. He has served on the YMCA Southern PBC Inspiration Breakfast Committee from 2020, as an FSU Renegades of Real Estate Board Members since 2021, and Junior Achievement of South Florida – Ultimate Tailgate Party Committee Member since 2018.

Clayton, his wife Lindsay, and their children Brooke, Brayden and Kate reside in Delray Beach.