Ravenstahl's former chief of staff lands job with development company

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A top aide to former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl who oversaw much of the city's development work will take a job with a prominent Pittsburgh developer.

Yarone Zober, Mr. Ravenstahl's chief of staff for seven years, will join McKnight Realty Partners, a real estate investment and development company that owns four buildings Downtown, on Jan. 27.

According to a McKnight press release, Mr. Zober, also former Urban Redevelopment Authority board chairman, will be involved in all aspects of the real estate development business, including financing, leasing and business development.

In his capacity as URA board chairman, Mr. Zober worked with Bill Rudolph, a McKnight principal who also serves on the URA board. Mr. Zober resigned his board seat earlier this month when Bill Peduto became mayor.

"During the last eight years, I've been impressed with Yarone's intelligence, creativity and passion, and have watched him use each to benefit Pittsburgh," Mr. Rudolph said in a prepared statement. "His work has helped this city to grow, creating jobs and rebuilding neighborhoods. He knows how to make things happen, and we're excited to have him join our team."

Mr. Zober, 38, could not be reached for comment.

As chief of staff and URA board chairman, Mr. Zober oversaw much of the development activity that took place in the city, both Downtown and in Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Projects he worked on included the two Bakery Square developments, Consol Energy Center, East Liberty Transit Center and Gardens at Market Square high-rise.

McKnight has been working with Millcraft Investments on a project to demolish the former Saks Fifth Avenue department store and replace it with a parking garage and retail, a deal in which the URA has been involved. Mr. Rudolph has not participated in those discussions.

As owner of the Oliver Building, McKnight is converting the upper floors into an Embassy Suites Hotel. It also owns Heinz 57 Center (the former Gimbels building), 610 Smithfield St. and the Grant Building, Downtown. Other holdings include Thorn Run Crossing and Cranberry Woods.

Before working for the city, Mr. Zober was an attorney for Reed Smith and Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP and a chief of staff to former city councilman Jim Ferlo.

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262. First Published January 15, 2014 2:28 PM

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