David Azrieli has died aged 92. The property magnate was founder and controlling shareholder in Azrieli Group Ltd. (TASE: AZRG) and was known in Israel as the "King of the Shopping Malls." He even invented the Hebrew word "kanion" by putting together the words for shopping and parking.
Azrieli served as chairman of the Azrieli Group until last Thursday when he was replaced by his daughter Danna due to his deteriorating health.
Azrieli was the 9th wealthiest man in Canada according to "Forbes" and made his fortune by building and operating successful shopping malls in unfashionable urban areas. He repeated the formula by bringing shopping malls to Israel, opening the country's first-ever mall in 1982 "Kanyon Ayalon" by the Ramat Gan national soccer stadium. He subsequently opened Jerusalem's first mall in Malkah, the Negev's first mall in Beersheva and his flagship project the three Azrieli towers in Tel Aviv.
Azrieli was born May 10 1922 in Poland. His parents perished in the Holocaust but he managed to escape via Russia and Uzbekistan to Iran before coming to Israel. He studied architecture at the Technion and fought in the War of Independence before emigrating to Canada in 1954. In recent decades hre divided his time between Canada and Israel.
He has been a major philanthropist contributing to universities and much more.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 9, 2014
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014