Five Dragons in the Nest

Posted in Cross Roads, Class Notes, Summer 2017

Ramy Shraim’s parents wanted nothing more than to provide their children with a great education, which is why they decided to send them — all five of them — to Drexel.

Pictured left to right are the Shraim siblings and their father: Anas ’11, investment professional with JP Morgan Private Banking; Ramy ’05, founder and CEO of University City Apt and managing partner of University Realty; Dr. Fathi Shraim; Rawan ’16, clinical scientist with Johnson & Johnson; Alaa ’02, managing director at PNC Corporate Banking; Jad ’06, director of relationship management at Broadridge Financial Solutions.

“It makes my parents so proud and so happy to see that their goal has been met; it was their vision that made it possible,” says Ramy Shraim, the second oldest of the Shraim children. “My parents were across the world, and as hard as it was to see their kids leave, they knew that was best for us.”

Shraim was born in Germany and grew up with his family in Dubai. He recalls spending summers as a young teenager visiting his extended family in New Jersey and Philadelphia, which is when he was first exposed to Drexel.

“America was a fascinating place,” says Shraim. “Over the years I definitely saw myself getting my education in the United States.”

Shraim graduated in 2005 with a degree in finance and marketing, taking jobs at JP Morgan and BNY Mellon in the years following graduation. But it was a purchase he made during his junior year at Drexel that would set him on the path to becoming a successful real-estate developer.

In his junior year, Shraim and his father purchased a house at 33rd and Spring Garden streets where he and his brothers lived while they were students. This glimpse into the world of owning and renting a home ignited his desire to one day have his own real-estate company.

“When I was first interested in real estate, I could barely spell real estate, my English was so bad,” he recalls. “However, I quickly realized that’s what I wanted to do and it became a passion.”

Today, Shraim runs not one, but two very successful real estate companies, University City Apt and University Realty. Both companies specialize in developing and managing multi-unit residential student housing catering mainly to Drexel and University of Pennsylvania students. Combined, the companies manage over $100 million in real estate assets in University City.

“I love how my projects can change neighborhoods,” says Shraim. “Sometimes as I’m driving around the city, I see some of the projects that we’ve completed over the years and it feels like I’m dreaming.”

As for the future, Shraim has no plans to leave the West Philadelphia neighborhood where he now lives and has so much invested.

Five years ago, he helped establish and sits on the board of the Drexel Area Property Association, or DAPA, which works alongside fellow community members to both represent area property owners in neighborhood issues and to encourage responsible property use. DAPA also holds toy and food drives and works with students in West Philadelphia’s Morton McMichael School.

“Even though I grew up in Dubai, this is my home,” says Shraim. “I believe that when you’re invested so much in one place, you should want to help better the community and uplift everyone around you.” — Lara Geragi