News Good News Shock, tears and delight as real estate company hands out $14.5m in staff bonuses
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Shock, tears and delight as real estate company hands out $14.5m in staff bonuses

christmas bonus real estate
A St John Properties employee learns of her surprise $50,000 Christmas bonus. Photo: St John Properties
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Nearly 200 workers at a US real estate company are set for a joyous festive season after their boss announced they would share a $A14.5 million Christmas bonus.

Baltimore-based St John Properties revealed the enormous bonus at the company’s annual end-of-year celebrations on Tuesday (local time).

“Grown men were crying,” company chairman Edward St John told US publication Today. “It was an unbelievable moment. There’s no question.”

Mr St John said his 198 employees would share in $US10 million – receiving an average of $50,000 ($A73,000) each.

For many of them, the cheques are actually a lot more. Maintenance technician Stanley Ches, who started at the company in 1982, will get more than $200,000.

“I was in shock. I’m still in shock,” Mr Ches said.

“Everybody was shaking me down and giving me hugs.”

Mr St John said the surprise gift was to celebrate St John Properties reaching its goal of developing 1.9 million square metres of office, retail and warehouse space in eight US states. The company is one of the largest commercial real estate companies in its region.

“We wanted to reward our employees in a big way that would make a significant impact on their lives,” Mr St John said.

“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 hefty Christmas gift comes on top of the company’s traditional end-of-year bonuses and other benefits, which including profit-sharing and extra holiday time.

“My philosophy has always been to surround myself with the best and the brightest – and that is what we have done,” Mr St John said.

“Every professional at St John Properties is committed to excellence every day.”

He founded the company nearly 50 years ago, with just two employees. It now has a portfolio of commercial space worth $3.5 billion.

The goal of developing 1.9 million square metres of commercial space was set in 2005, when St John Properties had half that. In the 14 years since, it has weathered a recession and grown from operating in five states to eight.

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