The Man Who Made A Fortune From "Chaddy": John Gandel


John Gandel has been one of the richest property developers in Australia, alongside household names like Harry Triguboff and Frank Lowy, for most of his life but he is much less well known.

This is despite the fact that the businesses he has helped to build, including women's fashion chain Sussan and the Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne, are among the nation's most famous.

Gandel was born in Australia in 1935, the son of Sam and Fay Gandel, Jewish immigrants from Poland.

His parents operated a corsetry store on Collins Street in Melbourne and Gandel was educated at the leading selective public school, Melbourne High School.

In the 1950s, Gandel took control of Sussan, his parents' women's clothing business, and with his brother-in-law Marc Besen grew it into a chain of over 200 stores.

ALSO SEE: How “High-Rise” Harry Triguboff Made $10 Billion

In some respects, this mirrors the decision of fellow billionaires Frank Lowy and John Saunders, who were running a small goods business in Western Sydney but realised their landlords were making better money and decided to move up the food chain.

Gandel subsequently built his own fortune in shopping centres.

After acquiring the Chadstone Shopping Centre in July 1983 for $37 million from the Myer Emporium, Gandel managed and developed the complex into the Southern Hemisphere's biggest shopping mall with 500 stores.

Chadstone Shopping Centre Aerial[/caption]It is now valued at over $3 billion, while BRW recently estimated John Gandel's wealth at $4.4 billion, making him the fourth richest man in Australia.

He says the key to his success was the deregulation of shopping hours and shopping becoming a leisure activity.

Chadstone Shopping Centre[/caption]In July 1983, the Myer Emporium also sold the Northland Shopping Centre to the Gandel Group.

Gandel's major assets are a 50 per cent share in Chadstone and a 17 per cent stake in the listed Novion that owns the other half.

Gandel also owns significant stakes in listed property companies, besides the stake in Novion, worth about $800 million, and a 15 per cent stake in Sydney-based property group, Charter Hall, in which he invested $151 million.

According to a January 2012 Herald Sun report, Gandel was the wealthiest man in Melbourne.

He sold his 56-metre luxury yacht Galaxy for $29 million in 2013 and his mansion in Melbourne's poshest suburb, Toorak, is said to be the city's most valuable.

John Gandel's Toorak Home[/caption]In 2012 Gandel sold his stake in the Northland Shopping Centre for $455 million and announced a $500 million hotel and office redevelopment at Chadstone in 2011.


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