Today St. John Properties, a Baltimore-based real estate firm focusing on large-scale office spaces and commercial developments, announced that it achieved its goal of developing 20 million square feet of office, flexible, retail and warehouse space in eight states.
To celebrate, it gave its 198 employees holiday bonuses that total $10 million — or around $50,000 per employee, with variations depending on how long one has worked for the company. The biggest holiday bonus an employee has received was around $250,000.
“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,” founder Edward St. John said in a video during a party. “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.”
The announcement came as a major surprise to almost all of the St. John Properties employees as only five workers knew about the bonus ahead of time. In a video from the party, St. John instructs employees to open their red envelopes as agents and other employees cry, hug and scream with excitement.
“I have five kids, five grandkids and I took on my in-laws and my brother-in-law several years ago,” Danielle Valenza, who works as an accounts payable specialist at the real estate firm, said in the video. “[…] This has been life-changing to me today.”