Obituary: Bruce Haney / Developer of high-profile projects loved the 'art of the deal'
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Bruce Haney loved all aspects of development, whether it was finding the right property for a project, putting together the finances or working with PennDOT on access to the site.
"He loved the art of the deal. He loved putting together the whole picture," said his wife, Andrea.
During some 24 years in the development business, Mr. Haney was involved in a number of high-profile projects, including the former Fore Systems building in Warrendale, the shops at Station Square and the Birmingham Towers office building on the South Side.
"He's one of those quiet Pittsburgh guys who people maybe don't know who are doing some pretty cool stuff for development in Pittsburgh," Mrs. Haney said.
Mr. Haney, 56, of Hampton died Jan. 17 after a 3 1/2-year battle with bile duct cancer.
A Brentwood native, Mr. Haney got his start in the development business after a stint at the Arthur Andersen LLP accounting firm. In the late 1980s, he met Frank Gustine Jr. and became co-founder and president of the Gustine Co., a commercial real estate development company based in Pittsburgh.
Fore Systems liked working with Mr. Haney enough that the computer networking company hired him as its chief financial officer in the late 1990s. After Fore Systems was sold, Mr. Haney joined iGate Capital Corp. as managing director and chief financial officer.
For the last 10 years, he served as managing partner of Echo Realty, a real estate company that does development for Giant Eagle and others. In that job, Mr. Haney developed more than 5 million square feet of space worth more than $1 billion, according to the company's website.
"He was a Pittsburgh man and loved the Pittsburgh area. He loved working with the Giant Eagle family," Mrs. Haney said.
Her husband, she said, was still making deals even as he battled cancer. "He was doing business up until two days before he died," she said.
David Shapira, chairman of Giant Eagle and Echo Realty, said Mr. Haney helped to develop Giant Eagle stores and other projects for Echo. "I know a lot of developers. Bruce, I would say, was just outstanding and right at the top of his profession," he said.
"Bruce was just a terrific human being. He was honest. He was smart. He was an extraordinarily dedicated guy and he was wonderfully easy to get along with."
Mr. Haney's cancer was diagnosed after a routine physical in 2009. He did not shy away from the battle and used the setback to help raise a half-million dollars for the Raizman-Haney Endowed Fund to finance liver cancer research. The fund, Mrs. Haney said, will be used to teach and train surgeons to work with bile duct cancer.
Mr. Haney was a known multitasker, sometimes carrying on cell phone conversations between golf shots. He was an avid golfer and a dedicated Steelers and Penguins fan. He enjoyed watching daughters Sara and Mackenzie in field hockey and equestrian competitions. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and was a certified public accountant. He received a master's degree in taxation from DePaul University.
He was a graduate of Brentwood High School, where he and his wife met. They were married for 31 years.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Haney is survived by daughters, Sara of Washington, D.C., and Mackenzie at home; his parents, Jane and Ed Haney of Jefferson, formerly of Brentwood; a brother, Brian, of Fort Lauderdale; two sisters, Janet of Jefferson and Patti DiSanto of State College; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral Mass was held Monday at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Hampton. Burial was in the church cemetery. Donations may be made to Bruce Haney Charitable Fund (c/o Echo Real Estate Services Co., 701 Alpha Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15238, Attn: Natalie Colla).
First Published January 24, 2013 12:00 am