Acklin Steps Down As URA Chair, Says He'll Be A 'Public Servant' In His New Role With The Penguins

13 hours ago

Urban Redevelopment Authority Chairman Kevin Acklin resigned from his post Thursday in anticipation of his new role as senior vice president of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Acklin will oversee the Penguins' development of the former Civic Arena site in the Hill District -- a project that has caused strife between the URA and the Penguins in the past.

The site is scheduled to become a mixed-use, mixed-income development, complete with commerce and more than 1,000 apartments. Currently, it's a sea of parking spaces, which generate money for the Penguins.

Acklin said he believes the Penguins have become more committed to serving the needs of the community over the past year.

"Even though I'm changing a position, I'm at a different seat at the same table," he said. "Fighting for the same things to make sure that we actually finish this development and that it happens in a way that enhances the city and contributes to the Hill District."

Acklin, who most recently worked as chief legal counsel for Peoples Gas, resigned as chief of staff and chief development officer for Mayor Bill Peduto in January. The city's ethics handbook states that former public officials may not represent any "person" before the governmental body with which he or she was associated for one year following resignation.

Acklin said his knowledge of the URA won't give him influence over the authority.

"That mission of being a public servant and trying to work hard to advance the city is something I'll carry with me in this role with the Penguins," he said.