Jacob (father) was born outside Ardebil اردبیل in Azerbaijan Iran آذربایجان ایران 1895 in a jewish family and together with his 4 sons immigrated to Canada in the late 1950s where he started out by developing a chain of Persian rug stores. He died in the year 2000.
In their adopted home of Canada, the Ghermezian brothers, Eskandar, Nader, Raphael and Bahman – are figures shrouded in mystery.
A fiercely private Orthodox Jewish family, they refuse to grant interviews, or to be photographed. The Encyclopedia Britannica gives few biographical facts about their father Jacob and founder of the Ghermezian real estate dynasty, other than he was born in Azerbaijan آذربایجان ایران in 1895.
All of those who have dealt with the family describe them as hard-as-nails political and legal operators. These four Iranian natives have created one of Canada’s biggest and most spectacular real estate empires through Triple Five Corp, their large asset-based financial conglomerate that consists of nearly 400 companies with offices across Canada, U.S., England, Japan, Taiwan and the Middle East.
West Edmonton Mall is recognized in The Guinness World records as:
World’s largest indoor amusement park (25 rides and attractions)
World’s largest indoor triple loop rollercoaster (1,285 metres of track)
World’s largest indoor lake (with replica of Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria)
World’s largest indoor wave pool (12.5 million litres of water)
World’s largest parking lot (with room for 20,000 vehicles)
World’s tallest indoor permanent bungee tower (30 metres up and 30 metres down)
The Ghermezian brothers boast, among other things, of having built the world’s largest shopping mall, West Edmonton Mall. Now a staggering 5.3 million square feet, the megamall features more than 800 stores, 25 sit-down restaurants, a casino, an amusement park, an indoor wave pool, a dolphin lagoon, and 26 movie screens in two theater complexes.
Since the mid-1980s, the Ghermezians have had plans to conquer the American real estate market as well.
The family has done very well in Las Vegas, having become principals in at least 34 companies registered in the state.
The Ghermezians also built the huge “Mall of America” in Minnesota.
Since its opening, Mall of America has grown to more than 525 stores and now employs about 12,000 people. Inside the building, there are 49 restaurants, a cinema with 14 screens, and 8 night clubs. The mall has an economic impact on Minnesota of nearly $1.5 billion per year.
It has become a must-see tourist attraction, with more than 270 million visitors both local and foreign since its opening. At the moment, Mall of America attracts more visitors annually than Disney World, Graceland, and the Grand Canyon combined, which makes it the country’s most visited destination for U.S. travelers. But with all that success comes the downside as well. The family has been the subject of a lot of controversies and lawsuits over the years, including allegations of improper influence in the form of “political contributions” and “gifts” to public officials both in Canada and the United States. That was true in the Spring Valley casino case in Las Vegas, in which several council members who voted “yes” to the Ghermezian’s proposal had received tens of thousands of dollars in political campaign contributions.
The ghermezian Family is The recipient of The Following awards:
- Great Canadian Award.
- The Family of the Century Award – Alberta Centennial – Canada.
Triple Five Corp’s activities encompass the development, management and ownership of world-scale ventures in many fields including shopping centers, tourism projects, office buildings, municipal planning and development, revitalization programs and their implementation, urban entertainment destinations, recreation and amusement parks, hospitality projects, casino, residential developments, commercial and industrial real estate, auto and industrial manufacturing, natural resource development (oil, gas and minerals), technology, research, venture capital, banking and finance. Triple Five® develops, manages, owns and operates its world-wide enterprises through its staff of over 2,000.