Real estate firm surprises employees with the bonus of a lifetime

St. John Properties gave a $10 million bonus to be paid to all its employees

Amid the usual chatter and fanfare found at a company holiday party, cheers and tears erupted at the St. John Properties holiday celebration when the company’s founder and chairman Edward St. John announced that a $10 million bonus would be paid to all 198 of its employees. The bonus was in celebration that the commercial real estate firm had completed its goal of developing 20 million square feet of office, flex/R&D, retail and warehouse space.

“Everyone is important in this company and everybody performs in this company,” St John said at the event, right before all the employees opened a red envelope that held bonus amount they would receive. 

Each of the 198 St. John Properties employees will receive a portion of the $10 million bonus based on the years of employment and service. The average employee received a bonus of $50,000. The bonuses will be paid out to the employees in alongside the firm’s annual year-end bonus. 

“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,” says St. John, in a press release addressing the surprise announcement. “I am thankful for every one of our employees for their hard work and dedication. I couldn’t think of a better way to show it.” 

These bonuses have been described by the firm’s employees as life-changing — as the bonus would allow them to do things such as pay off their mortgages, pay for their children’s educations, take a dream vacation and more.

"You don't always realize how much the people at the top of this company care about us and our lives. Ed is extremely generous with his money, but that he would do this I think was beyond anyone's expectations," says Brandon Jenkins, Colorado regional partner at St. John Properties. "Sharing that moment with my team was incredible, many of them had tears in their eyes. Just seeing the payoff from all the hard work that people put in was incredible. It was life-changing in many ways." 

The company first set the goal to develop 20 million square feet in 2005 when it had 10 million square feet of space in five states. Today, the firm’s 20 million square feet portfolio is valued at $3.5 billion and spans across eight states. This includes two properties in Colorado: the Walnut Creek Business Park in Westminster and a corporate center in Golden.

St. John Properties is a commercial real estate firm that was founded by St. John in 1971. Headquartered in Baltimore, the firm also operates in Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Utah and Wisconsin.

Click here to watch the employees' reactions to the $10 million bonus

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