URA Executive Director Robert Rubinstein To Step Down

Apr 9, 2019

Executive Director Robert Rubinstein announced Tuesday he would leave his current post at the Urban Redevelopment Authority. A spokesperson said he is doing so for personal reasons.

*This story was updated at 3:10 p.m. on Tue., April 9. 

The URA is Pittsburgh’s main driver of development, wielding significant power to assemble and sell land, create housing, provide gap financing for projects, and act as a passthrough entity for state and federal funding.

Rubinstein has held the URA's top post since 2012; during that time, the agency has been responsive to demands from residents and leaders to shift its focus from building a larger tax base and job creation to equitable development and creation of affordable housing, said URA board chair Sam Williamson. 

"He's given decades of his life to making the URA an important and impactful organization in the city," he said. "One of our greatest assets is our staff, truly committed professionals who want to make Pittsburgh a better place ... that wouldn't exist without his leadership." 

During Rubinstein’s tenure, the URA stood up the Housing Opportunity Fund and provided assistance to the Pittsburgh Land Bank, as well as saw to fruition development deals for the Strip District’s historic Produce Terminal and plans for the Lower Hill.

Former board chair Kevin Acklin, now general counsel for the Pittsburgh Penguins, said Rubinstein is a loyal, honest public servant. 

"The URA was lucky to have him as our leader for so many years."

Rubinstein will remain a member of the URA’s senior leadership team as the authority launches a national search for a new director, said Williamson. That process will proceed simultaneously with a study of the URA, expected to result in a new strategic plan by June. 

Mayor Bill Peduto said in a statement that he looks forward to working with Rubenstein in his new role, which is yet to be determined, and thanked him for his years of service to the city.

"Pittsburgh wouldn't be what it is today without him," Peduto said.