“I was born in Lahore, Pakistan, a very large city with about 11 million people that dates back 2,500 years. My mother was a homemaker, and my father was a business owner. He processed cotton from farmers that went to textile mills to make fabric.
I moved to the United States in 1984 to study electrical engineering at the University of Houston. As a junior in college, I borrowed some money from my parents to buy four rental homes in Houston. It was 1986, and the beginning of the real estate crisis—not a great time to get into the business. Prices were dropping. I also didn’t like being a landlord. I would get calls in the middle of the night about broken water heaters.
So, I sold the rental properties and decided to explore commercial options. That brought me to Fort Worth in 1991. Assets were being auctioned off; I looked at a shopping center. I ended up falling in love with the city and decided to move here. I made a great investment in some land in Fossil Creek and subsequently developed two hotels.
In 1998, I bought the former Color Tile Building in downtown Fort Worth and converted it into a data center and colocation facility.
In 2013, I bought the historic Sinclair Building, also in downtown Fort Worth. At the time, it was an office building with 85 percent occupancy. I knew immediately that I wanted to convert it into a hotel. Gone are the days when every hotel property looks exactly like the others.
I think we are seeing the demise of chain restaurants and the cookie-cutter approach to building because people want new experiences. I’m very honored to own one of the nicest hotels in Fort Worth. I feel like I’ve truly lived the American dream.”