Ron Rubin Steps Down as PREIT Executive Chairman

He's credited with helping build modern Philadelphia.

Ron Rubin in 2013 (Photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan/Sipa USA)

Ron Rubin in 2013 (Photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan/Sipa USA)

Ron Rubin — whom we once dubbed as “the man responsible for building every mall ever” — is stepping down as the executive chairman at PREIT.

He’ll stay on as chairman of the board, however, the company announced.

Sure, it’s an exaggeration to say Rubin is responsible for “every mall ever,” but PREIT — where Rubin became CEO in 1997 — does operate 27 million square feet of retail space across the eastern half of the United States, most of it in shopping malls. And a 2009 Philly Mag profile credited Rubin with helping create modern Philadelphia:

He’s spent half a century building downtown. Most Philadelphians have heard of Bill Rouse, whose Liberty Place put Billy Penn in shadow and opened up the city’s skyline. Ron Rubin has been just as important in changing our city, in creating it. He builds, and then builds again, bigger. Just how does he do it?

By focusing on the deals, and by never, as he puts it, “falling in love with the bricks.” Building in a large city is a calculating game because it’s so difficult. Thriving for 50 years — it’s a testament not only to Rubin fostering relationships with mayors and navigating financial markets and having extraordinary patience in the face of roadblocks, but also to his singular focus, his ability to keep right on doing what he needs to do.

Among his projects: He refurbished One Penn Center. He bought One Meridian Plaza, then lost it in fire that killed three firefighters. He built the Mellon Bank Center, and of course, malls: Christiana, Willow Grove, Moorestown.

“I have benefitted tremendously from Ron’s leadership, the invaluable relationships he has created and his real estate savvy,” PREIT CEO Joe Coradino said in announcing Rubin’s move. “The company values the distinguished service, legacy and spirit established by Ron and will benefit from his continued leadership as chairman of the board.”

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