Employees at St. John Properties were in tears upon learning of the surprise bonus that was given to all 198 of them

By Eric Todisco
December 11, 2019 10:22 AM

Employees of a real estate company earned a true Christmas miracle at their holiday party on Saturday.

On Tuesday, St. John Properties, one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the Mid-Atlantic, announced that they granted a $10 million bonus to all 198 of its employees after the company hit 20 million square feet of office, retail and warehouse space in eight states.

All 198 employees will be paid a bonus based on their years of service, with the average employee receiving $50,000, the company said. Only five people were aware of the bonus before it was announced during the company’s holiday party.

In a video from the party, each employee was given an unopened red envelope as the company founder and chairman, Edward St. John, broke the shocking news to all of them, leaving many in tears as they opened their envelope to find their generous bonus inside.

“I was totally blown away when this happened,” said one employee.

While trying to hold back tears, a female employee said, “What happened tonight was magical. It is life-changing. It’s really amazing. That is so generous.”

“I steer the boat, but they are the ones that run the boat,” St. John said. “They make the boat go. Without the team, we are nothing. We are absolutely nothing.”

The footage continued to document the St. John Properties employees sharing hugs with surprised expressions — many of them in tears.

“Very excited. Worked here a long time. He didn’t have to do what he did,” said one male St John’s employee generosity.

“It’s crazy, it’s life-changing,” another female employee said. “I can’t thank him enough.”

Stephanie Ridgway, an assistant project manager at the company, told CNN that she would be using her bonus for her children’s college funds.

“I’m looking into some possible investments and some house upgrades, but the majority of the money is going into my children’s future,” Ridgway said.

CNN also reported that for the first time ever, St. John Properties, which has eight different branches, also flew in all their out-of-state employees and their guests and covered all airfare and hotel costs for the party to go along with the huge bonus.