Ronald Rubin is stepping down from his executive role at Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, a company with which he has been identified since it acquired his Rubin Organization in 1997.

Rubin's employment as executive chairman of the Philadelphia-based shopping-mall developer and operator will end June 7, when his current contract expires, the company said Tuesday in a statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"I have benefited tremendously from Ron's leadership, the invaluable relationships he has created, and his real estate savvy," Joe Coradino, PREIT's current chief executive officer, said in a separate news release. "The company values the distinguished service, legacy, and spirit established by Ron."

Rubin will continue as chairman of PREIT's board of trustees, earning an annual retainer of $100,000, the company said in the statement to the SEC. He will receive a severance payment of $3.5 million, the company said.

No reason was given for his departure. Messages left with Rubin and PREIT spokeswoman Heather Crowell seeking further details did not bring responses.

Rubin, 84, became chief executive of what had initially been called PREIT-Rubin following the acquisition of his Rubin Organization real estate firm.

Coradino, then one of Rubin's leading executives, took over as the company's chief in 2012, when Rubin became executive chairman. Rubin was also the company's chairman from 2001 until 2012.

During his long career as a commercial real estate power broker, Rubin had his hand in some of the city's most prominent development sagas, including the transformation of the PSFS building into a Loews Hotel and Foxwoods' failed bid to bring a casino to Philadelphia.

In the early 1990s, he also spearheaded the development of the Center City District business-improvement group, which is credited with helping reinvigorate parts of central Philadelphia.

It was under his leadership that PREIT purchased the Gallery at Market East, now the planned site of a $325 million renovation seen as key to rejuvenating the surrounding neighborhood.

The company also spent extensively on renovations to Cherry Hill Mall during his watch, cementing its place as a regional retail powerhouse and the crown jewel of the company's suburban shopping-center empire, which also includes Willow Grove Park, Moorestown, and Plymouth Meeting Malls.

"All of the members of the board wish to extend their gratitude to Mr. Rubin for his service to the company as executive chairman, and for his years of remarkable dedication and leadership to the company," M. Walt D'Alessio, PREIT's lead independent trustee, said in the news release.

jadelman@phillynews.com

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