Maryland-based St. John Properties, one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the Mid-Atlantic, surprised its employees with a $10 million bonus during the company's annual holiday party in Baltimore Saturday.

"All of us have hit a major milestone," said President Larry Maykrantz. "We hit 20 million square feet in our portfolio worth $3.5 billion."

The company says all 198 employees will be paid a bonus solely based on years of service, with the average employee receiving $50,000.

"We wanted to reward our employees in a big way that would make a significant impact on their lives,” said Ed St. John, Founder and Chairman.

"I am thankful for every one of our employees, for their hard work and dedication," he added. "I couldn’t think of a better way to show it.”

St. John Properties says only five employees at the company knew about the bonus -- which will be paid out in addition to the company’s annual year-end bonus -- in advance of the surprise announcement.

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