Mark Rubin, prominent builder of Riverside projects, dies at 84

Mark Rubin, Holocaust survivor, builder of Riverside office towers, townhouses and shopping centers in Riverside, and advocate for a UC Riverside medical school, has died. He was 84.

Rubin, a Beverly Hills resident, never lived in Riverside or the surrounding area, but considered it to be a prime location for future Southern California growth, said daughter Michelle Rubin of Los Angeles, who is president of Regional Properties.

“My dad just said, ‘I love building in Riverside. I love the people,’” she said. “It was all about the people.”

  • Developer Mark Rubin stands on a tower atop the southwest corner of his Raincross Promenade condominium project when it was under construction in downtown Riverside in December 2009. Seen at lower left is the Fox Performing Arts Center. (File photo by David Bauman, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Developer Mark Rubin stands inside a unit of his Raincross Promenade condominium project when it was under construction in downtown Riverside in December 2009. Rubin, who died recently, has been praised for the many projects he built in Riverside. (File photo by David Bauman, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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  • Mark Rubin stands in the courtyard of his 141-unit condominium and townhouse project on Market Street in downtown Riverside in July 2010. (File photo by Frank Bellino, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • UC Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox, left, is seen with Mark Rubin in 2014. (Photo courtesy of UC Riverside)

  • Mark and Pam Rubin, left, are seen with UC Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox and his wife, Diane Del Buono, at the university in 2014. (Photo courtesy of UC Riverside)

  • Mark Rubin, left, is seen with wife Pam in 2014 at UC Riverside. An advocate for a UC Riverside medical school, has died at 84. (Photo courtesy of UC Riverside)

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Mark Rubin died of natural causes Saturday, Feb. 13, she said, and a funeral was held last week. Her family plans a memorial service in Riverside when coronavirus health orders allow for people to gather.

One of Mark Rubin’s most prominent developments is the Citrus Tower, a six-story office building at University Avenue and Lime Street in downtown Riverside that is a signature landmark along the 91 Freeway.

His last project, The Mark, a seven-story building that will feature 165 apartments and 20,000 square feet of retail shops on the ground floor, is under construction a few blocks away on Market Street, Michelle Rubin said. It is expected to be completed late this summer, she said.

Michelle Rubin said her dad built many other projects after getting his start decades ago with the purchase of 2,500 acres of open land in the city’s Mission Grove area, which today is a bustling part of the city along Alessandro Boulevard.

“Anything Mark did, he did with quality, he did with skill,” said Ron Loveridge, the city’s mayor from 1994 to 2012.

“It wasn’t a question of, ‘How much money can I make?’” Loveridge said. “It was a question of, ‘How can I make something that I’m proud of?’”

Loveridge called the Citrus Tower the “most impressive office building” in the downtown area.

But Michelle Rubin said her father wasn’t content with producing quality projects.

“He always said, ‘If you are going to develop in a city, you need to give back to that city,’” Michelle Rubin said.

And he did. UCR spokesperson John Warren said Mark Rubin and his wife, Pam, gave the university $3 million in 1994 to support the School of Medicine that would arrive later. The endowment is reflected in the title of the school’s leader, Deborah Deas, who is the Mark and Pam Rubin dean.

“Mark and Pam welcomed me with open arms,” Deas said. “I was really struck by their commitment to the medical school and to UCR as a whole.”

Deas said the Rubins had a vision for a school that would train students from the Inland Empire who, upon graduation, work locally to serve the area. She said the dream is becoming reality, with 63% of the incoming class in August having ties to the Inland region.

Mark Rubin also sat on local boards, including the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, Riverside Downtown Partnership and La Sierra University, according to Michelle Rubin.

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City Councilperson Chuck Conder said at a recent Riverside City Council meeting that the community lost “a very, very dear friend.”

“He adopted Riverside as his second home and did a tremendous amount of good for the city,” Conder said.

Former Mayor Rusty Bailey called Mark Rubin “an extraordinary human being.”

Mark Rubin was born in Sabinov, Czechoslovakia, the younger of two boys on Jan. 14, 1937, according to Michelle Rubin. A few years later, Nazi Germany invaded the country and his family went into hiding in 1942. Their hiding place was discovered in 1944 and they were shipped to the Terezin concentration camp on the outskirts of Prague, where they stayed until their liberation in 1945.

The family left Czechoslovakia in 1948 and came to the U.S., settling in New York. In 1953, the family moved to Los Angeles.

Tags: New York, Germany, Los Angeles, Sport, Prague, Soccer, Obituaries, Beverly Hills, Local News, Southern California, John Warren, Mark, Riverside, Czechoslovakia, Pam, Rubin, University Avenue, Deas, UC Riverside, UCR, Mark Rubin, School of Medicine, David Bauman, Conder, Lime Street, Loveridge, Terezin, Mission Grove, FRANK BELLINO, Rubins, Ron Loveridge, Riverside City Council, Rusty Bailey, La Sierra University, Kim Wilcox, Raincross, Chuck Conder, Michelle Rubin, Fox Performing Arts Center File, Raincross Promenade, UC Riverside Mark, Pam Rubin, Diane Del Buono, Alessandro Boulevard Anything Mark, Deborah Deas, UC Riverside Medical School, Sabinov Czechoslovakia


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