Nader Ghermezian and the Ghermezian Family – The Force Behind Some of North America’s Biggest Malls
Ghermezians built some of North America’s biggest malls and amassed an enormous real estate empire. However, their counterfeit hand sanitizer scheme has caused serious legal tangles for their family business.
Partners who have collaborated with the Ghermezians describe them as hardworking and dedicated; yet secretive – keeping to themselves as they juggle business and family obligations.
Early Life and Education
The Ghermezian family is behind several of North America’s biggest malls, such as New Jersey’s American Dream and Minnesota’s Mall of America, as well as having ownership stakes in West Edmonton Mall and having their name associated with West Edmonton Mall.
But the secretive family hasn’t always made working with them easy for project partners. One town board member described negotiating with them during early development stages of Meadowlands Xanadu project as being like trying to “stuff a balloon into a box.”
Ghermezians have also been embroiled in an ongoing legal dispute regarding another less glamorous venture: hand sanitizer venture that experienced meteoric growth during the Covid-19 pandemic before faltering months later. A 2021 lawsuit named them and several relatives as defendants; Triple Five Worldwide is owned by their family and registered over 200 entities under this name.
Ghermezian and his family have long been recognized as prominent business leaders, particularly for their achievements in retailing and real estate development. They own the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta – the world’s largest – as well as having constructed Mall of America outside Minneapolis.
Ghermezians have earned widespread credit for making the American Dream work where others have failed. They remain tightly-lipped; requests for interviews have been refused. But many credit them with making the American Dream possible in spite of all odds.
Nader Ghermezian, chairman of Triple Five Real Estate I LLC and listed principal of Luminati Aviation & Technology are involved with this Calverton deal according to documents posted online prior to Thursday’s Town Board meeting in Riverhead. Ghermezian’s attendance triggered an exchange with Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith about an anticipated sale of EPCAL land by EPCAL Real Estate I LLC to Luminati Aviation & Technology that has recently come up for consideration by EPCAL’s management.
Achievement and Honors
Ghermezian was an esteemed rug dealer whose firm, Ghermezian Bros., became one of the premier importers and sellers of oriental rugs in North America. He earned numerous honors such as membership to Minnesota Business Hall of Fame and Order of Canada recognition; some project partners at Mall of America praised his work ethic while others found it challenging negotiating with him as he often called from China, Israel or London; one Bloomington mayor described working with Ghermezian during early development stages as being like “stuffed a balloon into a box”.
Triple Five Chairman Nader Ghermezian and family members will be added as defendants to a civil racketeering lawsuit currently against them.
Jacob Ghermezian, father of triple Five Group Chairman Nader Ghermezian, amassed an enormous Persian rug business empire worth billions. During World War II’s crucial final stages, his apartment complex in Tehran hosted President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin for their 1943 meeting.
He and his sons Eskandar, Nader and Raphael eventually left Iran for Canada where they established the largest mall in that country: West Edmonton Mall. Since that time they remain an exclusive family unit and remain very private individuals.
Civil litigation filed by former EPCAL Director Dan Podlin alleges racketeering and other crimes by them. His complaint states Podlin was hired “with the express purpose of acquiring the Xanadu megamall,” with “most of his work in New Jersey being focused on that goal”. There are over 200 entities named “T5” or Triple Five according to this lawsuit.
Ghermezian’s net worth is heavily tied to his real estate holdings. Together with his brothers, he owns and operates numerous world-renowned shopping malls that are renowned worldwide. They are widely recognized for their bold approach to real estate development, taking risks while being willing to wait several years until projects are finished.
West Edmonton Mall, boasting water park attractions, indoor roller coaster, and the same hockey rink where Wayne Gretzky used to practice in the 1970s, is among the family’s best-known properties. They also own Triple Five Group of Companies which features an assortment of businesses.
This company specializes in the construction, development and management of large-scale commercial and residential real estate projects as well as engaging in charitable work.