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No. 4: Don Ghermezian

Power 100

What remained but a dream for over a decade, Don Ghermezian turned into a reality. Some folks didn’t think it would ever happen, but Ghermezian and his group Triple Five opened American Dream to the public on Oct. 25 and have continued to open it, bit by bit, since then. The roughly 3,000,000-square-foot mega-development in the Meadowlands was once little more than a punchline. Now, it’s home to the continent’s only indoor ski and snowboard hill and will soon welcome a slew of high-end retailers.

The grand opening hasn’t been without delay (DreamWorks Water Park was supposed to open on Nov. 27, but hasn’t as of press time) but what’s a month here or there on a project previous developers began in 2003?

If Ghermezian has any worry about the mall’s success, he keeps it to himself: when NJBIZ asked him how he knows when to step away from something that’s just not working, he said, “we have so much experience now, I don’t remember the last time we did something that didn’t work.

Don Ghermezian, president of Triple Five.

Don Ghermezian, president of Triple Five. – TRIPLE FIVE

“We spend a lot of time thinking about it before we implement it, and once we decide we’re doing it, we’re full force, we go after it, and we make sure we do it as first-class as it could possibly be done anywhere in the world,” he said.

Many of the things they’ve done don’t exist anywhere else, so his family has taken the first crack at creating it—and, he said, gotten good at it.

A lot is riding on whether the public agrees: Ghermezian reportedly anticipates 40 million visitors per year to dine, shop and be entertained at American Dream. And why just let dreams be dreams?

 

NJBIZ STAFF
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