Ghermezian family

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The Ghermezian family
Current regionNorth America
Place of originIran
Estate(s)Triple Five Group

The Ghermezian family is a Canadian business family of Iranian Jewish origin. The Ghermezians are best known for building North America's three largest shopping malls: West Edmonton Mall, Mall of America, and American Dream. The family has been based in Edmonton since 1964.


The Ghermezian family originates from Iran, where they dealt in rugs for several generations. In 1895, Elijah Ghermezian founded the family business. Sometime before World War II, the family moved to Tehran.

Jacob Ghermezian (1902 – 3 January 2000), was born and grew up in Iran. He became one of the wealthiest businessmen in the country, and during 1943, he hosted U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in his apartment during the critical Tehran Conference, where the three world leaders discussed the final stages of World War II and planned their path to victory.[citation needed] In the early 1950s, Jacob moved his family to Montreal where he opened Ghermezian Bros. on Sherbrooke Street. By the mid 1960s, the business included 16 stores across North America, and was the largest importer of oriental rugs to the United States.

In 1964, the family moved west and settled in Edmonton, hoping to capitalise on the province's booming oil economy. In 1967, they incorporated as Ghermez Developments Ltd., which in 1973 became Triple Five Corp. Ltd. The family acquired vast quantities of farm land surrounding Edmonton in the hope of finding oil, but their search proved unsuccessful. However, in the 1970s the province set out to build a green belt around Edmonton. Through this project, the Ghermezians made a fortune selling farm land to the government. The four sons, Eskandar, Nader, Raphael and Bahman, grew the family rug business into a large real estate and construction company.[1]


The family's estates include the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota,[2][3] along with many other businesses. In 2011, the family's Triple Five Group acquired the troubled Xanadu Meadowlands project in New Jersey, which they renamed to American Dream. The mall opened on October 25, 2019. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mall attendance has been low and due the leveraged position, it may lead to secured creditors taking up to 49% of the equity in their other mega-malls.[4]

Family members[edit]

  • Elijah Ghermezian
    • Yacoub (Jacob) Moshe Ghermezian (1902 – 2000), m. Nenehjan (Myriam)
      • Eskandar Ghermezian
        • David Ghermezian
        • Don Ghermezian
        • Syd Ghermezian
        • Jennifer Ghermezian
        • Tony (Shimon) Ghermezian
      • Raphael Ghermezian
        • Pam Ghermezian
        • Sharon Ghermezian
      • Nader Ghermezian
        • Diana Ghermezian
        • Rabbi Michael Ghermezian
        • Rabbi John Ghermezian
        • Justin Ghermezian
        • Roy Ghermezian
      • Bahman Ghermezian
        • Paul (Baruch) Ghermezian
        • Mark Ghermezian
        • Allen (Yehudah) Ghermezian


  1. ^ The Ghermezians build the West Edmonton Mall – CBC Archives
  2. ^ Mall Of America Goes To Canadians -
  3. ^ Mall of America May Double in Size, Add Casino - Business And Money | Business News | Financial News -
  4. ^ Gittelsohn, John; Braun, Martin Z. "American Dream Lenders Likely to Seize Share of Other Mega Malls". Bloomberg L.P.