change in an instant.” St. John, who takes a long view on all buildings he develops, believes that continued advances could make many data center buildings functionally obsolete in the next 10 to 20 years. Parking ratios is the second area of focus for St. John, who cites a current movement. Although more employees work from home, many still come into the office. Those who do come in use space much more efficiently and
compactly, which means buildings need more parking spaces per square foot of office space. However, St. John foresees the rapid development of driverless cars over the next few years. While he thinks that people will want to own and drive exotic or collectible cars, St. John believes most people will find it far cheaper to commute by driverless car, which will mean less demand for parking. He envisions that, once the driverless car drops the employee off, the vehicle will be sent on another
assignment. At this point, however, St. John Properties has not begun to decrease the number of parking spaces it builds. The text above comes from an article titled, “St John Properties: Developing with a Long View,” written by Ron Derven. It was originally published in the Fall 2018 issue of Development magazine and reprinted with permission of the publisher, NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association.
COMMITMENT TO PHILANTHROPY
Many real estate companies are good corporate citizens in the markets where they work, but by any measure St. John Properties is in a philanthropic class by itself. In 1998, company chairman Edward St. John formed the Edward St. John Foundation. St. John Properties donates 7.5 percent of its net profts each year to the foundation, and 100 percent of the funds donated each year go back into the community that same year. To date, the foundation has gifted more than $60 million. The Baltimore Business Journal has repeatedly ranked St. John Properties as one of the Baltimore area’s top corporate philanthropists. In 2017, the company was ranked eighth and placed sixth and seventh between 2014 and 2016. Sharon Akers, vice president of corporate relations and executive director of the foundation, says the foundation’s main focus is on education — particularly the transformative power of education to change lives and strengthen communities. The most notable contribution that St. John has made to date is to his alma mater, the University of Maryland, College Park. The university recently constructed the 187,000-square-foot Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center. The facility encourages a new way of teaching that focuses on collaboration and problem- solving between students that is facilitated by instructors. The whole experience moves away from traditional lectures by faculty. The building has 12 classrooms and nine teaching labs, serving more than 12,000
Pictured are members of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter during the 2016 dedication ceremony in honor of Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Families at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Aberdeen, Maryland.
tribute to the general. In September 2015, the Fallen Star Memorial at APG was dedicated. In October 2016, a second sculpture was dedicated at the memorial to honor Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Families for their immense sacrifices. Numerous other examples highlight the company’s philanthropy. Akers said the foundation has a program that matches dollar for dollar the amount that an employee gives to a charity up to a certain limit. She said that employees themselves are extraordinarily generous with the time they devote to community programs. According to Akers, this past year employees donated 7,400 hours to community work and board memberships.
students per day, and it acts as a national model of collaborative learning and teaching, according to Akers. Another example of the company’s extraordinary generosity took place at The GATE, an office and technology park developed on Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Aberdeen, Maryland. St. John Properties learned of the tragic death in August 2014 of Maj. Gen. Harold Greene in Afghanistan. The general had served at APG before his deployment to Afghanistan and was the highest-ranking officer killed offshore in combat since the Vietnam War. Wanting to honor the general and other fallen heroes along with their families, St. John Properties commissioned local artists to create a special
Made with FlippingBook Annual report