Oxford Companies' new Employee Share Program turns workers into real estate investors

A local real estate company is offering its employees the opportunity to become investors in a 2 million-square-foot portfolio of Ann Arbor real estate.


The Employee Share Plan (ESP) established by Oxford Companies, 210 S. 5th Ave., will reward employees' commitment to the company through shares of ownership in real estate. The company believes the program will give employees greater incentive to take care of the properties since they will be their partial owners.


Project manager Melissa Gumenick says the ESP was created in an effort to align employees' and investors' interests, and to give the employees a sense of pride and ownership.


"The idea is that it will appreciate over time and then they’ll own something ... that they can utilize later on in the future ... something that they personally didn’t have to set aside from their income," she says. "It’s something that will grow and provide them with that benefit."


Oxford's ESP fund currently holds about $3 million. The first rollout of the program represents an investment of more than $1 million in the company's employees. Those who continue to work for Oxford for the next two years will benefit based on their position in the company. Future employees can expect to benefit from future rollouts.


Since Oxford Companies opened in 1998, it has invested more than $70 million from over 250 investors. The company is comprised of about 85 property managers, building technicians, construction experts, asset managers, real estate brokers, and other employees. The team manages and leases over 2.4 million square feet of commercial property, provides housing to more than 1,000 residents, and has built an investment portfolio worth more than $300 million.


Brianna Kelly is the project manager for On the Ground Ypsi and an Ypsilanti resident. She has worked for The Associated Press and has freelanced for The Detroit News and Crain's Detroit Business.
Photos courtesy of Oxford Companies.

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