Employees of a Baltimore, Maryland, real estate firm got a surprise bonus for Christmas this year.
Monday, St. John Properties, one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the Mid-Atlantic, announced that the company was giving its workers $10 million in bonuses for their years of hard work, according to WGN 9.
“To celebrate the achievement of our goal, we wanted to reward our employees in a big way that would make a significant impact on their lives,” said company founder and chairman, Edward St. John in a press release Monday.
The company recently developed 20 million square feet of office, flex/R&D, retail, and warehouse space in eight states.
Only five employees knew about the surprise prior to the announcement.
“All 198 St. John Properties employees will be paid a bonus solely based on years of service, with the average employee receiving $50,000,” the release said.
Video footage of the surprise announcement showed employees’ jaws drop as they each opened red envelopes containing the bonuses.
“What happened tonight was magical,” one tearful employee said of the gift. “It is life-changing. It is really amazing. That is so generous,” she concluded.
In 2005, the goal of developing 20 million square feet of office space was set by the company when it had just 10 million square feet.
Fourteen years and one recession later, St. John Properties has grown to what it is today, thanks to the dedication of its employees.
“I steer the boat but they’re the ones that run the boat. They’re the ones that make the boat go,” the founder said.
St. John also stated that he was thankful for every one of his employees and wanted to express his gratefulness to them in a special way this holiday season.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to show it,” he commented, adding “Without the team, we are nothing. We are absolutely nothing.”