Apple Bank Provides $30M Loan for LIC Office Property


Brause Realty has landed a $30 million refinance for Brewster LIC, its office property at 27-01 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City, Commercial Observer has learned. 

Apple Bank provided the loan, while Cushman & Wakefield’s Gideon Gil, Lauren Kaufman and Dale Braverman negotiated the transaction.

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“In an extremely challenging time to procure office financing, this top-tier asset coupled with highly experienced and committed sponsorship was the right combination to achieve the best possible custom financing solution for our client,” Gil said in prepared remarks. 

The 700,000-square-foot asset is 72 percent leased, with JetBlue and Aramis as its two tenants. It’s between 27th and 28th streets near the intersection of Queens Boulevard and Jackson Avenue, a block from the Queensboro Plaza station for the N, W and 7 trains.

JetBlue utilizes the building as its headquarters, with its logo proudly displayed on the roof. It was reported that the airline was mulling a move to Florida in 2021, but scrapped those plans because “New York is in JetBlue’s DNA and inspires everything we do,” CEO Robin Hayes said in an announcement at the time. 

Aramis, a beauty manufacturer that’s part of Estée Lauder Companies, also showed its commitment to the location when it doubled its footprint at the property in 2019, taking an additional 100,000 square feet. 

As the property enjoys a fresh round of financing, it’s also undergoing a capital improvement project to upgrade its amenities and common areas. Renovations include a new 13,000-square-foot food and beverage facility, a fitness center and a tenant lounge with an outdoor terrace. The lobbies are also being modernized, and a 10,300-square-foot conference area is being added. 

Erected in 1911 as the Brewster Building, the property was once home to vehicle manufacturer Brewster & Company. As the years went on, those vehicles would include horse-drawn carriages,  town cars — as the main assembly location for Rolls-Royce cars — and airplanes. 

Having JetBlue as a tenant today is a fitting full circle as the building also was where the Brewster F2A Buffalo — the U.S. Navy’s first monoplane fighter aircraft — was once manufactured. The aircraft was utilized by several countries during World War II. 

Cathy Cunningham can be reached at